Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ohio Proposes New Rules--CLE For Bar Counsel

From the Ohio Supreme Court web page:

The Supreme Court of Ohio has announced a series of proposed rule amendments designed to enhance Ohio’s disciplinary system for lawyers and judges. Written comments on the proposed amendments will be accepted until Aug. 2.

Earlier this year, the Court considered the proposed amendments that were contained in a December 2009 report from an 18-member Task Force to Review the Ohio Disciplinary System appointed by the late Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer and published for comment in February 2010. The Court also considered written comments received during the public comment period.

After discussing the report and written comments, the Court made several revisions to the proposed amendments that were published for comment in 2010.

Revisions made to the proposed amendments since the first round of public comment include:

  Deleting from the proposed amendments language that would have eliminated 24  certified grievance committees.

  • The addition of a requirement that bar counsel for each certified grievance committee must take a minimum of three hours of continuing education each year, specifically related to their disciplinary responsibilities. This training would be offered or approved by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. Bar counsel could be decertified for failing to obtain the required training.
  • The new rules contain more definite procedures for decertifying grievance committees that fail to adhere to minimum requirements.

The Court’s review of the disciplinary system follows a five-year process to review, rewrite and adopt new ethical rules governing the conduct of Ohio lawyers (2007) and judges (2009). This is the first comprehensive review of the disciplinary process undertaken by the Court in at least the last 20 years. The last series of major amendments occurred in the late 1990s based on recommendations from a committee appointed by the Ohio State Bar Association.

View the text of the proposed amendments.

Comments should be submitted in writing to:

Richard A. Dove, Secretary, Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline
65 S. Front St., Fifth Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215

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