Ohio Law

News and Announcements from the Supreme Court of Ohio and Other Governmental Entities Within the Buckeye State.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Clients’ Security Fund Awards More Than $150,000 to Victims of Attorney Theft

The Board of Commissioners of the Clients’ Security Fund of Ohio (CSF) awarded $160,778 to 20 victims of attorney theft at its meeting on Friday, Dec. 2, 2005. Ten former or suspended Ohio attorneys were found to have misappropriated client funds.

The CSF was created in 1985 by the Supreme Court of Ohio to reimburse victims of attorney theft, embezzlement or misappropriation. The CSF is not taxpayer funded, but funded entirely by registration fees paid by every Ohio attorney. Ohio has more than 40,000 attorneys engaged in the active practice of law. Less than one tenth of one percent (1%) of those attorneys is involved in CSF claims.

Law clients who believe they have sustained financial losses resulting from attorney theft, embezzlement or misappropriation should contact the CSF by calling 614-387-9390 or 1-800-231-1680 toll free in Ohio.

Brown County
The CSF Board of Commissioners reimbursed $600 to a client of former Brown County attorney Edward L. Harp after finding that he accepted fees but failed to provide the services requested. Mr. Harp was suspended from the practice of law in Ohio on March 11, 2004. On Sept. 2, 2004, Mr. Harp surrendered his license to practice law in Ohio, with discipline pending.

Cuyahoga County
Former clients of three Cuyahoga County attorneys were reimbursed by the Clients’ Security Fund as a result of the attorneys’ failure to provide the services requested. Two clients of attorney Michael F. Dadisman were reimbursed $46,233 in funds determined to have been converted by Mr. Dadisman. Mr. Dadisman was suspended from the practice of law in Ohio in July 2004.

A client of former attorney Timothy M. Bowman, also of Cuyahoga County, was reimbursed $200 paid to Mr. Bowman for services that he failed to provide. Mr. Bowman resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on Nov. 14, 2003.

A former client of suspended attorney Michael L. King was reimbursed $350 as a result of his failure to provide the services requested. Mr. King was indefinitely suspended from the practice of law in Ohio on Aug. 17, 2005.

Franklin County
The CSF Board of Commissioners determined that clients of three Franklin County attorneys were eligible for reimbursement from the CSF. A former client of suspended Franklin County attorney Perry R. Silverman was reimbursed $75,000 as a result of Mr. Silverman’s failure to release or otherwise account for client funds. Mr. Silverman was suspended from the practice of law in Ohio by the Supreme Court of Ohio on May 10, 2004.

Two former clients of suspended attorney Cynthia Harris, also of Franklin County, were reimbursed a total of $3,140 in legal fees paid to Ms. Harris for services that she failed to provide. Ms. Harris was suspended on April 8, 2005, for her failure to complete required hours of continuing legal education. A former client of Scott W. Spencer was reimbursed $1,052 as a result of Mr. Spencer’s failure to provide the services requested. Mr. Spencer resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on July 15, 2003.

Mahoning County
Nine clients of former Mahoning County attorney Mark S. Colucci were reimbursed a total of $22,703 as a result of Mr. Colucci’s failure to provide the services requested and his failure to account for client funds. Mr. Colucci resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on Dec. 2, 2004.

Summit County
A former client of Summit County attorney Shirley M. Jones was reimbursed $9,000 as a result of Ms. Jones’ improper receipt of fees from an estate. Ms. Jones was permanently disbarred from the practice of law in Ohio on Nov. 17, 2004.

Trumbull County
A former client of suspended Trumbull County attorney J. Walter Dragelevich received $2,500 in reimbursement of legal fees paid to Mr. Dragelevich for services he failed to provide. Mr. Dragelevich was indefinitely suspended from the practice of law in Ohio on Nov. 2, 2005.

Later

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