Warren Attorney Suspended
The Supreme Court of Ohio has suspended the law license of Warren attorney John H. Large for two years, with the final six months of that term stayed on conditions, for professional misconduct in his dealings with three different clients and for making misrepresentations of fact in seeking reinstatement from a prior disciplinary suspension.
In a 7-0 per curiam opinion announced today, the court adopted findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline that after accepting fee advances from three clients,
Large improperly deposited those unearned funds in his law office checking account rather than in a client trust account as required by state disciplinary rules.
The court also agreed with the board’s findings that Large subsequently neglected the legal matters entrusted to him by those clients, and failed to respond to the clients’ repeated inquiries about the status of their cases or to return case files and unearned fees to them upon request. In one of those cases Large filed a complaint for divorce on the day after his client had sent a fax to his office discontinuing his representation and ordering him to take no further action in her case, and then failed to timely return the client’s retainer and the client’s file. In another case, Large failed to inform either his client or the domestic relations court that his law license was suspended, with the result that he was unable to continue representing the client in a pending child support modification case.
In seeking reinstatement of his license at the conclusion of that suspension, the court found that Large submitted an affidavit falsely attesting that he had notified all of his clients and all of the courts in which he had pending matters of his suspension as required by the court’s suspension order.
In setting the sanction for his misconduct, the court noted among others the aggravating factors that Large had a previous history of disciplinary offenses, committed multiple rule violations, acted with a selfish motive, failed to fully cooperate with disciplinary authorities or acknowledge the wrongful nature of his conduct, and caused harm to vulnerable clients.
As conditions for reinstating Large’s license after he serves 18 months of the two-year suspension commencing today, the court ordered that he must avoid any further misconduct and refund to the Client Security Fund within 90 days any amounts paid from that fund to his clients as compensation for losses they suffered as a result of Large’s misconduct.
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2012-0691. Trumbull Cty. Bar Assn. v. Large, Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-5482.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 11-027. John Harold Large, Attorney Registration No. 0068732, is suspended from the practice of law in Ohio for two years, with the final six months stayed on conditions.
O’Connor, C.J., and Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O’Donnell, Lanzinger, Cupp, and McGee Brown, JJ., concur.
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