Columbus Attorney Suspended
The Supreme Court of Ohio has suspended the license of Columbus attorney Eric M. Seabrook for two years, with the second year of that term stayed on conditions, for continuing to practice law while his license was under suspension for failure to comply with state attorney registration requirements. The court also found that Seabrook violated professional conduct and state bar governance rules by failing to initially cooperate in the investigation of his unlicensed practice violations.
In a 5-1 per curiam decision, the court adopted findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline that Seabrook represented two different clients in Franklin County court proceedings during February 2010, while his license was under an administrative suspension as a result of his failure to comply with the Supreme Court rules that require all Ohio attorneys to complete prescribed registration procedures and pay a registration fee every two years. The court also agreed with the board’s finding that, despite being notified by registered mail of the grievances pending against him, Seabrook did not respond to inquiries from the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
In setting the sanction for his misconduct, the court noted that Seabrook has been suspended from practice on two prior occasions for failure to comply with attorney registration requirements, arrived late for his disciplinary hearing without a valid excuse, and admitted in a deposition that he had received counseling and been prescribed medication for depression and attention deficit disorder, but stopped taking that medication in 2010.
After reviewing cases involving similar disciplinary violations, the court determined that the appropriate penalty for Seabrook’s misconduct was a two-year license suspension with the second year stayed on the conditions that Seabrook enter into and fully comply with a two-year mental health contract with the Ohio Lawyers Assistance Program, attend at least six hours of extra continuing legal education coursework focusing on law office management, and commit no further misconduct.
The court’s opinion was joined by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Terrence O’Donnell, Judith Ann Lanzinger and Robert R. Cupp. Justice Paul E. Pfeifer dissented without opinion. Justice Yvette McGee Brown did not participate in the court’s deliberations or decision in the case.
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2011-2049. Disciplinary Counsel v. Seabrook, Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-3933.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 10-089. Eric Maurice Seabrook, Attorney Registration No. 0069118, is suspended from the practice of law for two years, with the second year stayed on conditions.
O’Connor, C.J., and Lundberg Stratton, O’Donnell, Lanzinger, and Cupp, JJ., concur.
Pfeifer, J., dissents and would impose a two-year stayed suspension.
McGee Brown, J., not participating.
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