Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More than 50 Violations Draws Permanent Disbarment

From the web page of the Ohio Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court of Ohio today permanently revoked the law license of [an] attorney...for multiple violations of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Rules of Professional Conduct.

In a 7-0 per curiam opinion, the Court adopted findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline that [the attorney], whose license has been under suspension since April 2008 for prior acts of misconduct, committed more than 50 violations of state attorney discipline rules in his dealings with several different clients.   

The Court affirmed the board’s findings that in one case in which he was retained by three siblings to probate their father’s will, [the attorney] falsely advised the probate court that the father had died intestate and proceeded to collect more than $60,000 in fees from the heirs and deductions from the estate over a four-year period while refusing to provide his clients with a full accounting of the estate assets or to distribute the proceeds to them.  In a second case, the Court adopted the board’s finding that [the attorney] advised a client to give [him] $600 from his $2,000 monthly pension checks to place “in escrow” every month for more than five years while [the attorney] allegedly pursued a lawsuit on the client’s behalf to increase his pension. When the client later learned that [his] law license had been suspended and the lawsuit he was supposed to be pursuing on behalf of the client had been dismissed, the client demanded but never received any of the estimated $36,000 he had given Mishler to hold in escrow.

The Court adopted the board’s conclusions that these and other acts of misconduct by [the attorney] violated, among others, the state disciplinary rules that prohibit an attorney from charging an illegal or clearly excessive fee, intentionally damaging a client in the course of a professional relationship, knowingly making false statements of law or fact, engaging in conduct involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty or misrepresentation, engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, and engaging in conduct that reflects adversely on the attorney’s fitness to practice law.

The opinion is linked here. (Mike Frisch)


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