Wednesday, September 4, 2013
A report from Ohio:
Public Information Office
Published: September 4, 2013
The state attorney discipline board has appointed a new head of the office that investigates and prosecutes complaints of misconduct by attorneys and judges in Ohio.
The Ohio Supreme Court announced Thursday that it has approved the appointment by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline of Scott J. Drexel, a California attorney and former head of the equivalent office in that state, to replace Disciplinary Counsel Jonathan E. Coughlan whose term expires on October 26.
As one of the three affiliated disciplinary offices, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel investigates and prosecutes allegations of misconduct against lawyers and judges throughout the state before the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline. The third entity is the Clients’ Security Fund, which provides assistance to clients who have been financially harmed by the dishonest conduct of a licensed Ohio attorney.
Under Rule V(3)(B)(1) of the Rules for the Government of the Bar, the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline appoints the head of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel subject to the approval of the Ohio Supreme Court.
In his application letter, Drexel wrote that he has “dedicated almost my entire 37-year legal career to the regulation of the practice of law and to issues of legal ethics and professional responsibility.”
“I’m honored to have been appointed Disciplinary Counsel for the State of Ohio,” Drexel said. “I look forward to working with the board, with the staff of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, and with the many volunteers who dedicate their time and talents to the discipline process in Ohio. The fair and efficient operation of the discipline system is vital to both the public interest and to the practice of law in this state in order to effectively address the harm that is caused by those few attorneys whose conduct falls short of their duty to provide ethical and competent representation to their clients.”
For more than four years he served as chief trial counsel for the State Bar of California, responsible for the investigation and prosecution of complaints against attorneys for professional misconduct and related regulatory proceedings involving attorneys, former attorneys, and applicants for admission to the practice of law.
“We are pleased to appoint Scott Drexel to the position of Ohio Disciplinary Counsel,” said David E. Tschantz, Wooster attorney and chair of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline. “Scott has more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of the lawyer discipline process, and has a proven track record of fairness and independence in investigating and prosecuting professional misconduct cases.”
There was controversy over the decision not to reappoint Mr. Drexel in California. (Mike Frisch)