Thursday, November 21, 2013
An attorney who had cashed four refund checks from courts that were client funds was indefinitely suspended by the Ohio Supreme Court.
The bar matter arose after his legal assistant sent him an e-mail inquiring about a refund check for $2,644.74 from the Lorain County Court. He was confronted by two of his law firm partners, had no satisfactory explanation, and was fired:
He was escorted back to his office and then was escorted out of the building with only his briefcase; he was not permitted to remove any other items from his office.
The attorney remitted the amount of the check and the firm filed a bar grievance. Three other instances of similar conduct were uncovered. One involved a $5 check.
The other misconduct involved the attorney's failure to pay for five CLE seminars. He had attended seminars and told bar staff that he had preregistered and prepaid. In fact, he had not. He claimed credit for the seminars and bounced checks for two sessions.
He eventually paid by bank check and explained that he was employed as a golf caddy and that his cash flow was "pretty tight."
The disciplinary panel found that the CLE situation amounted to theft of services.
The court agreed. (Mike Frisch)