A Coral Gables lawyer has been suspended. A broken arm and $136,000 are involved

It’s been over two years since Joseph Sorce caused a head-on crash on a Parkland road that caused another driver’s broken arm. It’ll be almost two years before Sorce can resume putting his construction lawyer career back together.

The state Supreme Court has suspended the West Miami-Dade resident and Coral Gables attorney for two years, making the suspension retroactive to Aug. 7. That’s when the court instantly suspended Sorce after being notified he pleaded no contest on charges of cocaine possession, reckless driving and two counts of DUI with bodily injury or property damage.

Sorce’s sentence included a five-year probation that’ll end June 30, 2028; five-year driver’s license suspension; DUI school; 50 hours of community service; and $136,000 in restitution to the driver with the broken arm.

Since joining the Florida Bar in 1984, Sorce’s only previous discipline was for a bounced business trust account check after he deposited a personal check into the trust account. A Bar investigation found “no evidence of malfeasance with respect to client funds,” clients got the money they should have and, essentially, Sorce had just been sloppy. He received a public reprimand in July 2020.

Around 10:44 p.m., on Aug. 15, 2021, an arrest report says Sorce was driving a 2017 Audi A4 east in Parkland on Loxhatchee Road when he swerved over into the westbound lanes. That caused a head-on collision with a Toyota Rav4. The Toyota driver’s right arm got broken in several places.

Investigators learned this when they went to Broward North Medical Center, where medical staff said Sorce’s blood alcohol content was 0.158. The legal limit is 0.08.

The referee’s report accepting Sorce’s guilty plea on the professional ethics case says Sorce paid $100,000 of the aforementioned $136,000 restitution at sentencing. Other mitigating factors listed by the referee in recommending the state Supreme Court accept a two-year suspension of Sorce were:

Sorce being sober since the crash, while regularly attending therapy and substance abuse help groups;

He had been “severely depressed” by recent significant life changes, including deaths in the immediate family;

And, other than the public reprimand, no previous professional discipline history since 1984.

Joseph Sorce
Joseph Sorce