Saturday, March 3, 2018

Probate Judge Accused Of Handling His Own Private Practice Matters

A recently-certified complaint alleging misconduct by a probate judge may be found on the web page of the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct.

The judge was sworn in to fill an unexpired term on July 8, 2014 as a Mahoning County Probate Judge. He was coming from an obviously busy private practice.

One allegation involves his representation of an executor who had apparently depleted estate assets. He warned her that the allegations created a "serious situation that needs your immediate attention." 

The executor failed to give the serious matter that required attention.

The accused judge did not report the possible defalcation.

Rather, it is alleged, he presided over that very same case and issue as a probate judge!

The executor's brother filed the complaint.

Not only that.

It is further alleged that he presided over 200 matters in which he had represented parties in private practice, appointed fiduciaries, approved legal fees for himself and his former firm and other activities associated with his private work.

The judge's answer admits most of the factual averments but appears to deny misconduct. The 200 matters were apparently the result of an oversight.

The case is In re: The Complaint Against  the Hon. Robert Ruso, Jr. The pleadings can be accessed here. (Mike Frisch)

Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink


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