Thursday, October 4, 2012
The web page of the Ohio Supreme Court reports:
The law license of Pepper Pike attorney Dwight E. Davis has been permanently revoked for multiple violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
In a 7-0 per curiam decision announced today, the Supreme Court of Ohio adopted findings by its Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline that Davis, whose license has been under continuous suspension since March 2009 for prior misconduct, opened what purported to be a client trust account while he was under suspension, deposited thousands of dollars in that account despite being barred from representing any clients, and used the account to pay personal expenses while his personal bank accounts were subject to judgment liens totaling more than $22,000.
The court agreed with the disciplinary board’s findings that Davis’ actions violated, among others, the Professional Conduct Rules that prohibit an attorney from engaging in fraud, deceit, dishonesty or misrepresentation, conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, and conduct that adversely reflects on the lawyer’s fitness to practice law. The court also found that Davis’ failure to answer the complaint brought against him based on this conduct, or otherwise to cooperate in the investigation of his violations, violated the state bar governance rule requiring attorneys to cooperate with disciplinary authorities.
In affirming the board’s conclusion that permanent disbarment was the appropriate sanction for Davis’ misconduct, the court wrote: “By establishing the escrow account, Davis engaged in the charged misconduct whether he was practicing law under suspension, deceitfully shielding his own funds from creditors, or both. Davis refused to cooperate in relator’s investigation, and the documentary evidence showing misconduct is unrefuted. ... We agree that the facts and law support Davis’s disbarment.”
The opinion is linked here. (Mike Frisch)