Massillon Attorney Indefinitely Suspended
The Supreme Court of Ohio today imposed an indefinite suspension against the law license of Massillon attorney Dale Alan Zimmer for multiple violations of state attorney discipline rules.
The court voted 7-0 to adopt findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline that Zimmer engaged in professional misconduct and showed a disregard for his obligations as a citizen and as a lawyer in connection with three separate incidents involving traffic law violations between 2006 and 2012.
In its report, the disciplinary board noted that in November 2011 Zimmer crashed his car into a parked vehicle and a building, causing damage to both, then fled the scene without reporting the accident or leaving contact information. He was subsequently arrested and found guilty of failure to stop at the scene of an accident. While Zimmer was in custody for the November 2011 arrest, law-enforcement authorities discovered that there was an outstanding bench warrant for his arrest based on a September 2008 incident in which he was convicted of driving without a license and ordered to return to court with proof of a valid driver’s license, but failed to appear.
The board also noted that a new bench warrant was issued for Zimmer in March 2012 for violating the conditions of a home confinement sentence imposed on him in January 2012. That sentence was based on a 2006 DUI arrest for which Zimmer failed to appear at a scheduled court hearing, and subsequently evaded prosecution for more than five years. The board noted that in July 2012 Zimmer sent a letter to the judge in that case stating that he was currently being treated at a Canton hospital and had been attending numerous 12-step program meetings in an attempt at sobriety.
Observing that Zimmer’s misconduct had not resulted in any reported harm to his clients, but that his record of alcohol-related traffic offenses and his flight from the scene of his most recent incident suggested an untreated substance abuse problem, the court adopted the board’s recommended sanction of an indefinite license suspension with future reinstatement conditioned on proof of Zimmer’s compliance with an established substance-abuse treatment program.
Based on today’s action, the earliest date on which Zimmer would be eligible to apply for reinstatement is May 16, 2015.
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2012-2057. Stark Cty. Bar Assn. v. Zimmer, Slip Opinion No. 2013-Ohio-1962.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 12-042. Dale Alan Zimmer, Attorney Registration No. 0018382, is indefinitely suspended from the practice of law in Ohio.
O’Connor, C.J., and Pfeifer, O’Donnell, Lanzinger, Kennedy, French, and O’Neill, JJ., concur.
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