Tuesday, August 25, 2009

In The Spotlight

From the web page of the Ohio Supreme Court:

In a decision announced today, the Supreme Court of Ohio imposed a two-year license suspension against [a] Dayton attorney...based on an incident in which [he] engaged in an armed standoff with Dayton police after firing a handgun out of a window of his home to frighten away an “intruder” who turned out to be an on-duty police officer investigating a stolen car report. [The attorney] was ultimately forced from his home by officers firing teargas. He subsequently entered guilty pleas to felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon and inducing panic. [His] law license has been under suspension since the Court was notified of his criminal convictions in August 2007.

In today’s decision, the Court agreed with findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline that [he] engaged in illegal conduct involving moral turpitude and conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice, but also noted that on the night of the incident [he] had been awakened from a deep sleep by a spotlight being shined into his darkened home, and that the uniformed officer who entered his yard was obscured by the glare of his spotlight and did not identify himself as the police

In light of aggravating and mitigating factors in the case, including [his] admission of guilt and nearly 30 years of law practice without prior disciplinary infractions, the Court adopted the board’s recommendations that [he] receive a two-year suspension with credit for time already served since his interim suspension on Aug. 30, 2007, and that he successfully complete a mental health evaluation prior to reinstatement of his license.

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


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I found para. 18 & 19 interesting. How many people are not afraid that the police will beat and possibly shoot them in such a situation? Isn't this fear reasonable for a lawyer, especially one engage in criminal law practice? Isn't this simply a consequence of the way that many police treat the public today?

I can see how his conduct violates 102(A)(3), but how is this a violation of 102(A)(6)? I can imagine that if most of his criminal clients were to hear about this, what would anger them is what a poor shot he was.

Finally, I just loved the reaction of the cop: "Hey Buddy, did you throw something or shoot something at me?" You'd think that they would train them to call their assailants "Sir" and not "Buddy"...


Posted by: FixedWing | Aug 26, 2009 10:06:05 AM

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