Wednesday, April 24, 2013
An Ohio attorney who belatedly introduced mitigating evidence was indefinitely suspended, rather than disbarred, as a result.
The web page of the Ohio Supreme Court notes:
After [the attorney] failed to answer the complaint filed against him with the state disciplinary board or to otherwise cooperate with the board’s proceedings, the commissioners recommended that he be permanently disbarred. [He] filed a belated motion with the court seeking to remand his case for further proceedings, asserting that a previously undiagnosed psychological condition had interfered with his capacity to defend himself. The court remanded the case for the limited purpose of allowing the board to consider any mitigating effects of the newly offered psychological evidence.
In today’s decision the court noted that after evaluating the proffered evidence, the board amended its recommended sanction from disbarment to an indefinite suspension. The court adopted the board’s recommendation, and specified that any future reinstatement of [the attorney's] license will be conditioned on his submission of proof that he has complied with a recovery contract with the Ohio Lawyers Assistance Program (OLAP), completed psychiatric treatment, follow up care and reporting requirements imposed by OLAP and his psychiatrist, and submitted a statement from a qualified mental health professional that he is capable of returning to the competent, ethical and professional practice of law.
The court's opinion is linked here. (Mike Frisch)