Thursday, May 16, 2013

Driving Offenses Draw Suspension

From the web page of the Ohio Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court of Ohio today  imposed an indefinite suspension against the law license of Massillon attorney  Dale Alan Zimmer for multiple violations of state attorney discipline rules.

The court voted 7-0 to adopt  findings by the Board of Commissioners on  Grievances and Discipline that Zimmer engaged in professional misconduct and  showed a disregard for his obligations as a citizen and as a lawyer in  connection with three separate incidents involving traffic law violations  between 2006 and 2012.

In its report, the disciplinary  board noted that in November 2011 Zimmer crashed his car into a parked vehicle  and a building, causing damage to both, then fled the scene without reporting  the accident or leaving contact information.   He was subsequently arrested and found guilty of failure to stop at the  scene of an accident.  While Zimmer was  in custody for the November 2011 arrest, law-enforcement authorities discovered  that there was an outstanding bench warrant for his arrest based on a September  2008 incident in which he was convicted of driving without a license and  ordered to return to court with proof of a valid driver’s license, but failed  to appear. 

The board also noted that a new  bench warrant was issued for Zimmer in March 2012 for violating  the conditions of a home confinement sentence  imposed on him in January 2012.  That  sentence was  based on a 2006 DUI arrest for  which  Zimmer failed to appear at a  scheduled court hearing, and subsequently evaded prosecution for more than five  years. The board noted that in July 2012 Zimmer sent a letter to the judge in  that case stating that he was currently being treated at a Canton hospital and  had been attending numerous 12-step program meetings in an attempt at sobriety.

Observing that Zimmer’s misconduct   had not resulted in any reported harm to  his clients, but that his record of alcohol-related traffic offenses and his  flight from the scene of his most recent incident suggested an untreated  substance abuse problem, the court adopted the board’s recommended sanction of  an indefinite license suspension with future reinstatement conditioned on proof  of Zimmer’s compliance with an established substance-abuse treatment program.

Based  on today’s action, the earliest  date on  which Zimmer would be eligible to apply for reinstatement  is May 16, 2015.

The opinion  is linked here. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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