Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Victims of Attorney Theft Awarded Money from Lawyers' Fund

The Board of Commissioners of the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection has awarded $141,440 to 22 victims of attorney theft at its most recent meeting. Eight former or suspended Ohio attorneys were found to have misappropriated client funds. Cases involving three deceased attorneys were also among the claims presented to the Board of Commissioners.

Cuyahoga County
The board awarded reimbursement to former clients of three former Cuyahoga County attorneys and former clients of three deceased Cuyahoga County attorneys.

A former client of deceased attorney Michael L. Belcher was reimbursed $1,500 as a result of Belcher’s failure to complete the services requested prior to his death. Belcher passed away in April 2017.

Two former clients of suspended attorney R. Paul Cushion III were reimbursed a total of $7,700 as a result of Cushion’s failure to provide the services requested. Cushion was suspended from the practice of law in Ohio in April.

A former client of John B. Frenden was reimbursed $3,800 as a result of Frenden’s failure to provide the services requested. Frenden was disbarred in October 2016.

Five former clients of James M. Johnson were reimbursed a total of $23,286 as a result of Johnson’s failure to distribute or otherwise account for client funds. Johnson resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, in September 2016.

Five former clients of deceased attorney George W. MacDonald were reimbursed a total of $3,345 as a result of MacDonald’s failure to complete the services requested prior to his death. MacDonald passed away in April 2017.

A former client of deceased attorney Elliott I. Resnick was reimbursed $63,809 as a result of Resnick’s failure to account for client funds. Resnick passed away in April 2017.

Franklin County
A former client of Joseph Dues Reed was reimbursed $350 as a result of Reed’s failure to provide the services requested. Reed resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, in April 2017.

Greene County
A former client of suspended attorney Mark A. Deters was reimbursed $3,000 as a result of Deters’ failure to provide the services requested. Deters was suspended from the practice law in Ohio in September 2017.

Mahoning County
The board awarded reimbursement to former clients of two Mahoning County attorneys.

A former client of suspended attorney Dennis A. DiMartino was reimbursed $10,000 as a result of DiMartino’s failure to provide the services requested. DiMartino’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely in February.

Two former clients of Benjamin Joltin were reimbursed a total of $20,150 as a result of Joltin’s failure to provide the services requested. Joltin resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, in April.

Portage County
Two former clients of suspended attorney Jared L. Wilson were reimbursed a total of $4,500 as a result of Wilson’s failure to provide the services requested.¬†Wilson was suspended from the practice of law in Ohio in December 2017.

The Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection, formerly known as the Clients’ Security Fund, was created in 1985 by the Ohio Supreme Court to reimburse victims of attorney theft. Ohio has more than 44,000 attorneys engaged in the active practice of law, and less than 1 percent of those attorneys have been involved in reimbursement claims.

Law clients who believe they have sustained financial losses resulting from attorney theft, embezzlement, or misappropriation should call 614.387.9390 or 800.231.1680.