Thursday, September 17, 2009

Client Abandoned, Attorney Suspended

A report of bar discipline from the web page of the Ohio Supreme Court:

The Court adopted findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline that [the attorney]  violated multiple provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility by repeatedly making false and misleading statements during child custody and support proceedings before the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court, and subsequently abandoned her client by walking out of the courtroom in the middle of a hearing.

In imposing an indefinite license suspension, the Court found that [the attorney] violated the state disciplinary rules that  prohibit an attorney from engaging in conduct involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty or misrepresentation, conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, withdrawing from employment without taking steps to avoid harm to a client, intentionally causing prejudice or damage to a client and knowingly making a false statement of law or fact in the course of legal representation.

The court's decision is linked here. The court concluded that the attorney made a series of misrepresentations regarding scheduling and discovery. The transcript of the hearing from which the attorney abruptly departed is worth a read. The attorney complains that the case will take 15 years to conclude and states that she:

...hereby resigns because this is a travesty. Let me tell you a travesty...I'm not available for the next 15 years and that's what this is all about...I beg the Court to allow [the client] time to find new counsel because I cannot handle this case. I cannot be here. I cannot deal with this anymore because it is an absolute travesty. I have a severe headache, I feel very ill. I beg the Court to please continue this case.

The attorney did not participate in the disciplinary hearing.  (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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