Articles Posted in Professional Malpractice & Ethics

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Appellees, a real estate investor and her company, filed a legal malpractice claim against Appellants, an attorney and his law firm, based on part on Appellants’ failure to assert a legal malpractice claim against third parties relating to Appellees’ purchase of a certain property. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Appellants on the potential malpractice claim. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed and reinstated the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Appellants, holding that no genuine issue of material fact existed with regard to the issue in this case and that Appellants did not agree to represent Appellees regarding their potential claim of legal malpractice against the third party relating to the purchase of the property at issue. View "Ratonel v. Roetzel & Andress, L.P.A." on Justia Law

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In this case the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying the request by Appellant, Terrie Sizemore, a veterinarian, for a writ of mandamus to compel Appellee, the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board, to reissue a 2007 adjudication order finding her guilty of misconduct and imposing fines. Sizemore contended that the original order was not in compliance with Ohio Rev. Code 119.09, preventing her from pursuing an appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment, holding (1) because the Board dismissed the charges against Sizemore, the mandamus claim was moot; (2) the Board have any duty to reissue its prior adjudication order finding Sizemore guilty of misconduct; and (3) Sizemore had an adequate remedy by way of a motion for contempt to raise her claim that the board violated the court of appeals mandate to reissue its adjudication order. View "State ex rel. Sizemore v. Veterinary Med. Licensing Bd." on Justia Law

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Attorney Marie Wheeler and the law firm of Roderick Linton, LLP appealed a grant of summary judgment in favor of Appellee New Destiny Treatment Center. The Center sued Attorney Wheeler and her firm over representation of a dissident member of the Centerâs board of trustees who tried to regain control of the Center. The issue before the Supreme Court was whether attorneys who were retained by the dissident member of the Center could actually be sued by the Center for malpractice. The Supreme Court found in this case that the law firm represented only the dissident trustee, not the Center. No attorney-client relationship ever existed between the law firm and the Center. Accordingly, there was no basis for the Center to maintain a cause of action against the firm. The Court reversed the appellate court, and reinstated the trial courtâs judgment in favor of Attorney Wheeler and the law firm.

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Disciplinary Counsel filed a complaint charging Respondent Kevin Hallquist with professional misconduct arising from his failure to reasonably communicate with two clients, his neglect of their legal matters, and his failure to cooperate in the ensuing disciplinary investigations. The Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline concluded that Respondent's conduction was a violation of the rules of attorney conduct. Because Respondent has practiced law for more than 20 years without a disciplinary violation, and although serious, his misconduct has not caused irreparable harm to any clients, the Supreme Court agreed with the recommended sanction of a two-year suspension, with the last six months stayed on condition that he commit no further misconduct and pay restitution to clients harmed by his acts.