Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Breach Of Trust Draws Permanent Disbarment

From the web page of the Ohio Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court of Ohio today permanently disbarred attorney Justin Peter Parrish of Rocky River for multiple violations of state attorney discipline rules arising from his misappropriation of funds from a charitable trust and his neglect of a separate legal matter involving other clients.

The Court adopted findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline that over a 22-month period Parrish abused his position as attorney for the Father Vincent O’Dea Trust to write 15 unauthorized checks to himself and transfer funds from the trust to his own accounts in amounts totaling more than $172,000. Parrish was subsequently convicted of felony theft and has been under an interim license suspension based on that conviction since October 2007.

The Court also adopted disciplinary board findings that Parrish was guilty of professional misconduct by failing to file required documents and make a scheduled appearance in a court case on behalf of a married couple who had retained him, ultimately resulting in a default judgment against his clients and dismissal of their counter-claim against the opposing party.

The Court agreed with the board’s conclusions that Parrish violated, among others, the disciplinary rules that prohibit an attorney from engaging in illegal conduct involving moral turpitude; conduct involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty or misrepresentation; neglect of an entrusted client legal matter and intentionally causing damage or prejudice to a client. In imposing permanent disbarment as the appropriate sanction for his misconduct, the Court noted the aggravating factors that Parrish acted with a dishonest or selfish motive, engaged in a pattern of misconduct involving repeated acts of misappropriation, and caused harm to vulnerable clients.

The court's opinion is linked here. (Mike Frsch)


Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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