May 1, 2008
A Question Of Disciplinary Policy
The Ohio Supreme Court permanently revoked the license of an attorney who had stolen legal fees due to his firm, forged documents to conceal the thefts, commingled client funds, neglected cases, and failed to cooperate in the bar investigation by failing to provide a handwriting sample. He blamed the thefts and lack of records on another firm employee, but "[t]he panel and the board did not find [his] testimony credible, and neither do we. "
Should more jurisdictions impose permanent disbarment in matters such as these or for conviction of serious criminal offenses? On one hand, there is some benefit to the idea that anyone can be rehabilitated and should be given the opportunity to demonstate their present good character and fitness to practice. On the other, reinstatement hearings in cases of awful misconduct tie up limited bar disciplinary resources with little or no prospect of achieving reinstatement. (Mike Frisch)
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