Wednesday, August 6, 2008
The Ohio Supreme Court ordered permanent disbarment as the sanction for an attorney's third brush with bar discipline. Suspensions had been imposed in both earlier cases. The court's web page summarized the misconduct found in this matter as follows:
In today’s unanimous per curiam decision, the Court adopted findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline that Hickman falsely informed one client that he had conducted discovery in the client’s case and that a pre-trial hearing and a trial date had been scheduled when they had not, improperly accepted a $1,500 fee advance from another client while he was under suspension and failed to inform that client that additional grievances were pending against him, and failed to refund unearned portions of fee advances totaling $22,500 he had collected from a client in a divorce action prior to his first suspension from practice in 2005.
In light of the aggravating factors that Hickman has been sanctioned for similar misconduct on two prior occasions, acted with a dishonest or selfish motive, engaged in a pattern of misconduct involving multiple clients and failed to make restitution, the Court agreed with the board’s recommendation that the appropriate sanction for his most recent violations was permanent disbarment.