Cleveland Attorney Disbarred
The Supreme Court of Ohio has permanently revoked the law license of Cleveland attorney William L. Tomson Jr. for multiple violations of state attorney discipline rules in his dealings with two prison inmates from whom he collected more than $13,000 in fees for promised postconviction legal services that were never performed.
In a 7-0 decision announced today, the court adopted findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline that, among other misconduct, Tomson charged illegal or clearly excessive fees, engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, neglected legal matters entrusted to him by his clients, made repeated false promises and representations to the clients and their families over a seven-year period during which he effectively did nothing to advance their cases, and failed to cooperate with disciplinary authorities investigating one of the complaints filed against him.
In imposing disbarment as the appropriate sanction for this misconduct, the court cited the aggravating factors that Tomson acted with a dishonest or selfish motive, committed multiple offenses, failed to cooperate in the disciplinary process, refused to acknowledge the wrongfulness of his conduct, and failed to make restitution to the affected clients. The court also adopted the disciplinary board’s recommendation that Tomson be ordered to refund the $13,500 in fees he received from the clients whose cases he neglected.
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2012-2068. Disciplinary Counsel v. Tomson, Slip Opinion No. 2013-Ohio-2154.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 12-020. William Leonard Tomson Jr., Attorney Registration No. 0033832, is permanently disbarred 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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