November 27, 2012
The Dead Can't Declare Bankruptcy
From the web page of the Ohio Supreme Court:
The law license of [a] Cleveland attorney...has been suspended for two years, with the second year stayed on conditions, for multiple violations of state attorney discipline rules.
In a 7-0 per curiam opinion announced today, the Supreme Court of Ohio adopted findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline that after accepting fee advances to represent clients in several Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, [the attorney] failed to file required documents, failed to appear at scheduled court hearings, and otherwise failed to provide competent representation to his clients.
In one instance, the court found that [he] filed a bankruptcy action in the name of a person who had died three years earlier, in the mistaken belief that person’s estate could still seek bankruptcy protection from the deceased’s creditors.
The court agreed with the board’s conclusions that [his] conduct violated, among others, the state disciplinary rules that require an attorney to act with reasonable diligence and provide competent representation, and rules that prohibit an attorney from failing to carry out a contract of employment, engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, and bringing or defending a legal claim that is unsupported by law or a good faith argument.
As the appropriate sanction for these violations, the court imposed a two-year license suspension with the second year stayed on the conditions that [he] engage in no further misconduct, complete six hours of continuing legal education in law office management in addition to the general biennial requirements, and complete one year of monitored probation during which the monitor should insure that [he] practices only in those areas of law in which he is competent.
The court's opinion is linked here. (Mike Frisch)
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