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St. Augustine | Noah Hertz, Jacksonville Today

Former St. Augustine mayor loses law license 

Published on July 1, 2024 at 1:35 pm

The Florida Supreme Court has revoked former St. Augustine Mayor Joseph Lester Boles Jr.’s ability to practice law in the state. Boles’ license was temporarily suspended last year, but the new move means he won’t be able to reapply to practice law in Florida for five years.

Last year, the Florida Bar Association filed complaints against the prominent elder law attorney, alleging three instances in which Boles named himself — and, in one case, his law partner and stepson, too — as a representative or successor to an elderly and terminally ill person’s estate or trust. 

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Boles received just 90 days’ suspension, in part due to his standing in the community and his 38 years of serving as an attorney with no prior disciplinary actions. 

Joseph Lester Boles Jr. | Law Office of Joseph Boles

Since then, more complaints have arisen, including one in which, per the Florida Bar, Boles “sold a decedent’s home to his daughter allegedly for lower than fair market value.”

After five years, Boles can seek readmission to the bar.

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Boles served as the mayor of St. Augustine from 2006 to 2014, when he lost his bid for a third term to Nancy Shaver. He also served for a time as chair of the St. Johns County Council on Aging.


author image Reporter email Noah Hertz is a Jacksonville Today reporter focusing on St. Johns County. From Central Florida, Noah got his start as an intern at WFSU, Tallahassee’s public radio station, and as a reporter at The Wakulla News. He went on to work for three years as a general assignment reporter and editor for The West Volusia Beacon in his hometown, DeLand.

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