Justia Legal Ethics Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio
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Century Negotiations, Inc. engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by conducting debt-settlement negotiations on behalf of Ohio consumers, as charged by the Ohio State Bar Association.The Board found that Century Negotiations engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by conducting debt-settlement negotiations for more than 3,000 Ohio customers. The Board concluded that no civil penalty was warranted because the company, inter alia, agreed not to engage in the unauthorized practice of law in the future. The Supreme Court adopted the Board’s findings and recommendation and issued an injunction prohibiting Century Negotiations from engaging in further conduct that constitutes the practice of law in Ohio. View "Ohio State Bar Ass’n v. Century Negotiations, Inc." on Justia Law

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Home Advocate Trustees, LLC (HAT) engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by providing legal counsel to Ohio residents whose Ohio real property was in foreclosure, as charged in a complaint by the Ohio State Bar Association.A panel of the Board of Commissioners on the Unauthorized Practice of law granted default judgment against HAT and recommended that the Supreme Court issue an injunction prohibiting HAT from engaging in further acts of the unauthorized practice of law and impose a civil penalty. The Board adopted the panel’s findings and recommendation. The Supreme Court adopted the Board’s findings of fact and determination that HAT engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, adopted the Board’s recommendation that an injunction prohibiting HAT from attempting to represent the legal interests of others performing legal services in Ohio, and agreed that HAT’s conduct warranted the imposition of civil penalties. View "Ohio State Bar Ass'n v. Home Advocate Trustees, L.L.C." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted a peremptory writ of prohibition to halt an action for an assignment for the benefit of a disbarred attorney’s creditors (the ABC action) pending before a Hamilton County probate judge. In 2004, nineteen judgment creditors filed a lawsuit alleging that the attorney at issue had stolen millions of dollars in settlement funds while representing them. A Kentucky trial court ruled that the attorney was jointly and severally liable for $42 million. The court of appeals affirmed. In 2013, the Kentucky Supreme Court permanently disbarred the attorney for his conduct in the underlying representation. In 2015, a Boone County circuit court judge ordered the attorney to transfer his beneficial interest in a company, which were held in trust for the purpose of winding up operations, to the creditors. The attorney did not transfer the shares to the creditors, and the shares were later transferred. The Supreme Court granted the creditors’ motion for a peremptory writ of prohibition barring further proceedings in the ABC action, holding that the necessary elements for a writ of prohibition to issue were all present in this case. View "State ex rel. McGirr v. Winkler" on Justia Law