Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Toledo Attorney’s License Suspended

The Supreme Court of Ohio today suspended the law license of Toledo attorney  Anthony J. DeGidio for two years, with the second year of that term stayed on conditions, for commingling personal and client funds in his law office trust account, using that account to pay personal expenses, and failing to cooperate in the ensuing disciplinary investigation.

In a 6-1 per curiam decision, the court adopted findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline that between August 2010 and June 2011 DeGidio deposited personal funds into his client trust account, impermissibly wrote checks from that account to pay personal and business expenses, and on one occasion overdrew the account, resulting in the dishonoring of a check he had written to pay the filling fee in a client’s federal court case.

Although he initially requested additional time to respond to the complaint filed against him by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel,  DeGidio failed to provide the requested information, failed  to appear for a scheduled deposition in the case despite having been served with  a subpoena, and ultimately had to be prosecuted through default proceedings.

The court agreed with the board’s conclusions that DeGidio violated the state disciplinary rules that require attorneys to cooperate with disciplinary investigations and to hold  property of clients separate from the lawyer’s own property in a dedicated trust account, and that he also engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice and conduct that reflects adversely on his fitness to practice law.

As a condition for reinstatement of his license after the first year of suspension, the court required that DeGidio complete an approved continuing legal education course on the proper use and maintenance of a client trust account.

The majority opinion was joined by Justices Paul E. Pfeifer, Terrence O’Donnell, Judith Ann Lanzinger, Sharon L. Kennedy, Judith L. French and William M. O’Neill.  Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor  dissented, indicating that she would impose an indefinite suspension as the appropriate sanction for DeGidio’s misconduct.

Please note: Opinion summaries are prepared by the Office of Public Information for the general public and news media. Opinion summaries are not prepared for every opinion, but only for noteworthy cases. Opinion summaries are not to be considered as official headnotes or syllabi of court opinions. The full text of this and other court opinions are available online.

2012-1697.  Disciplinary Counsel v. DeGidio, Slip Opinion No. 2013-Ohio-1509.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 12-043.  Anthony James DeGidio Jr., Attorney Registration No. 0069064, is suspended from the practice of law in Ohio for two years, with the second year stayed on conditions.
Pfeifer, O’Donnell, Lanzinger, Kennedy, French, and O’Neill, JJ., concur.
O’Connor, C.J., dissents and would impose an indefinite suspension upon respondent.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2013/2013-Ohio-1509.pdf

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