Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Permanent Disbarment for Tax Offenses, False Statements

The web page of the Ohio Supreme Court reports:

 The Supreme Court of Ohio has permanently revoked the license of [a] Cincinnati attorney...for professional misconduct based on his failure to file returns or pay federal, state and local income taxes owed by himself and his former wife  from 2001 through 2006, and his false statements during a prior attorney discipline proceeding and in a sworn affidavit filed with the Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court indicating that those taxes had been paid.

In a 7-0 per curiam opinion released today, the Court affirmed findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline that [the attorney's] conduct violated the state disciplinary rules that prohibit a lawyer from engaging in illegal conduct that reflects adversely on his honesty or trustworthiness; conduct involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty or misrepresentation; conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice; and conduct that reflects adversely on the attorney’s fitness to practice law.

In rejecting [his] objections that his violations should be subject to a less severe penalty than disbarment because they were limited to his own financial affairs and did not adversely affect his clients or the judicial system, the Court pointed out that he knowingly submitted a false affidavit in a court proceeding and gave false testimony in his previous disciplinary case that impaired this Court’s ability to determine the full scope of his misconduct and craft an appropriate sanction to protect the public.

The Court concurred with the disciplinary board’s conclusion that permanent disbarment was the appropriate sanction because [his] “pattern of lying and deceit strongly suggests that he lacks the ability of conform his behavior to the ethical standards incumbent upon attorneys in this state.”

The court described the circumstances, which involved a pattern of deception regarding his financial situation in order to try to save his foundering marriage. His wife, in reliance on his false statements and documents, left her position with a Cincinnatti law firm.

The opinion is linked here. (Mike Frisch)


Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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