Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The Ohio Supreme Court decided two bar discipline cases involving Cleveland-area attorneys (no mention if either had an office in the same building as Whiplash Willie Gingrich). In one matter, the attorney said that she "keep[s] a stable of 23 seniors that I'm able to assist...And when they die off, I replace them." She "deceptively claimed reimbursements for expenditures she could not substantiate" and "tried to conceal the discrepancy through illegimate lawsuits and falsified evidence..."
The court stated that "[r]arely are we called upon to sanction a lawyer for advancing frivolous lawsuits." The "[attorney] expressed much passion...for protecting the interests of disabled and senior citizens" and had not profited personally from her zealous advocacy. The court imposed an 18 month suspension with all but six months stayed.
The second case involved an attorney who had "accepted a settlement offer without the client's knowledge, obtained settlement proceeds with forged client endorsements, charged excessive fees, and failed to account for client funds." The court sustained the lawyer's exception to a finding of unethical behavior in paying a lawyer not affiliated with him to assist the client without the client's consent, but admonished that such actions "are not without ethical difficulty." Two-year suspension with the second year stayed. (Mike Frisch)