Wednesday, February 13, 2013
From the web page of the Ohio Supreme Court:
The Supreme Court of Ohio today indefinitely suspended the law license of [a] Columbus attorney...for violations of professional conduct rules in her dealing with three clients, and for failing to cooperate with the investigation of her misconduct, including failing to appear for a scheduled hearing before a state disciplinary panel.
The court adopted findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline that in one case the attorney ] forged the signature of a client on two documents and then notarized those signatures. The court also found that [the attorney] provided incompetent and negligent representation to clients in two divorce cases, misinformed the clients about the status of their cases, and repeatedly failed to appear for scheduled hearings, causing significant harm to her clients and months of needless delay in the resolution of their legal affairs.
In imposing an indefinite license suspension as the appropriate sanction for these and other rule violations, the court noted the aggravating factors that [the attorney] acted with a dishonest or selfish motive, engaged in a pattern of misconduct, failed to cooperate and engaged in deceptive practices during the disciplinary process, refused to acknowledge the wrongful nature of her conduct, harmed vulnerable clients, and refused to make restitution to a client.
Pursuant to today’s decision, [the attorney] will be ineligible to apply for reinstatement until Feb. 13, 2015. As preconditions for considering an application for readmission after that date, [the attorney] must refrain from any misconduct during the suspension period, demonstrate that she has made restitution to her client, complete a mental health and substance abuse evaluation by the Ohio Lawyers Assistance Program or a professional approved by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, and demonstrate compliance with all recommendations arising from that assessment.
In one matter, the attorney advised the client that the filing of her divorce was delayed because she was "actually in Pennsylvania." Actually, the attorney was in an Ohio court that day on the other divorce case that led to discipline.
The opinion is linked here. (Mike Frisch)