Saturday, January 21, 2017

State Bar To Ohio Supremes: Give Sticky-Fingered Lawyer The Boot; No Criminal Charges (Yet?), But Disbarment Recommended For Alleged Misappropriation Of Over $360K From 23 Clients

In Columbus, Ohio, The Columbus Dispatch reports:
  • Three Columbus-area lawyers accused of misconduct face the loss of their law licenses before the Ohio Supreme Court.

    The Board of Professional Conduct has recommended two of the lawyers be permanently disbarred and the third receive an indefinite suspension.

    Shawn Andrea Little faces disbarment for misappropriating $363,444 from 23 clients between 2007 and 2014.

    Filings claim she received settlements on behalf of clients, largely in personal-injury cases, and failed to disperse all funds. She also is accused of keeping settlement funds that were to be paid to third parties, such as medical providers.

    Records show that Little has repaid all but $104,990 of the misappropriated funds, which the complaint states she used for personal purposes.(1) She faces no criminal charges.
For the story, see Three Columbus lawyers face loss of licenses.
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(1) The Ohio Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection is an agency of the Supreme Court of Ohio created to reimburse victims of attorney theft, embezzlement or misappropriation. The fund is not taxpayer funded, but is funded by registration fees paid by every Ohio attorney. The Board of Commissioners of the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection determines which claims are eligible for reimbursement. After the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection staff investigates the claims, they are submitted to the Board for a determination of eligibility.

The maximum award amount is $75,000 per client. Clients who believe they have sustained financial losses resulting from theft, embezzlement or misappropriation by an Ohio attorney should contact the fund at 614.387.9390 or toll free in Ohio at 1.800.231.1680.

For similar "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds" that attempt to clean up the financial mess created by the dishonest conduct of lawyers licensed in other states and Canada, see:
Maps available courtesy of The National Client Protection Organization, Inc.

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