Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Disgusting Suggestion Leads To Suspension

The web page of the Ohio Supreme Court has a summary of a disciplinary case where the attorney offered "other arrangements" for payment of his fee in a child custody matter.

At an office meeting, the attorney told the client that he would come to her home and that she should answer the door naked. She found the suggestion disgusting. Despite her objection, he drove 35 miles to her home where he was met by her fiance and her fiance's father.

Edward Bunstine, an attorney in Chillicothe, was suspended by the court for one year with six months stayed on condition for soliciting sexual activity from a client he was representing in a child custody matter. Adopting the board’s findings in the case, the court stated that Bunstine violated two professional conduct rules by suggesting the client could compensate him for his legal services by engaging in a sexual liaison with him and driving to her home, despite being told by the client not to do so, in an apparent attempt to follow through on that solicitation. The court in its 6-1 per curiam decision noted three aggravating factors – Bunstine’s selfish motive, the harm to his client, and his 2012 stayed suspension for previous unrelated misconduct. Overruling Bunstine’s objections and pointing to the aggravating factors and lack of any mitigating factors, the court suspended his license for one year with six months stayed on the condition that he commit no further misconduct.

The Columbus Dispatch has a report on disorderly conduct charges involving the attorney.

The court's opinion is linked here. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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