March 20, 2008
The Ohio Supreme Court imposed an indefinite suspension of an attorney who began dating a domestic relations client shortly after he had been retained. The client sought assistance in proceedings to terminate her marriage as well as with a domestic-violence action. He had moved in and lived with the client for about five months prior to the client's reconciliation with her husband. Although the lawyer claimed to have withdrawn from the representation, "he continued to assist her in secret." The bar grievance was filed by the client and her husband.
In addition to the improper relationship("We have consistently disapproved of lawyers engaging in sexual conduct with clients where the sexual relationship arises from and occurs during the attorney-client relationship"), the court considered the lawyer's submission of false evidence in the bar case as an aggravating factor. (Mike Frisch)
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