December 4, 2008
Does Bankruptcy Trump Restitution?
A lawyer who had been admitted to practice at age 39 was suspended by the Ohio Supreme Court for two years with 18 months stayed. The attorney had taken over a medical malpractice case from an experienced attorney that he was not competent to handle. When the case was lost for failure to adequately respond to motions for summary judgment, the client sued for legal malpractice but was unable to secure a recovery because the lawyer had failed to notify his insurance carrier. The lawyer avoided the judgment by declaring bankruptcy and securing discharge.
A conncurring/dissenting opinion would require restitution as a condition of reinstatement, concluding that bankrupcy discharge is no impediment to such an order. A dissenting opinion would impose an active suspension of one year. (Mike Frisch)
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The dissent’s argument that a court can trump a Bankruptcy Court’s discharge is frivolous at best. Even the cited case doesn’t support his position.
Posted by: FixedWing | Dec 4, 2008 1:30:11 PM