Legal Misconduct Complaints Increased in 2014
A nearly 33 percent increase in misconduct complaints against Ohio lawyers and judges is among the highlights in the annual report from the Board of Professional Conduct.
The board, formerly the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline, notes a “significant increase” in new cases for the year in its 2014 annual report to the Ohio Supreme Court. There were 109 new filings, up from 82 in 2013.
The three-commissioner hearing panels conducted 45 hearings throughout the year, certified 53 reports to the Supreme Court with recommendations for sanctions, and disposed of 84 cases. There were 73 pending active cases at the end of the year.
“The annual report of the Board of Professional Conduct documents the work of the volunteer commissioners to fairly and promptly adjudicate disciplinary cases and provide recommendations to the Supreme Court,” Board Director Richard A. Dove said. “The annual report also illustrates the efforts of the board staff to promote a greater understanding of and compliance with the ethical standards applicable to members of the Ohio bench and bar.”
Other highlights from the annual report include:
- Updated disciplinary rules and regulations
- Issued four formal advisory opinions
- Responded to approximately 2,000 requests for advice from lawyers, judges, and judicial candidates
- Reduced operating expenses by 15 percent, bringing the total reduction to more than $287,000 in the past three years.
The board is composed of 28 volunteer commissioners appointed by the Supreme Court. The commissioners include judges, lawyers, and members of the public. In addition to disciplinary hearings, the board also conducts educational programs on ethics for judges, lawyers, and judicial candidates.
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