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Dec. 8, 2010
Victims of Attorney Theft Awarded More Than $290,000 by Clients' Security Fund

The Board of Commissioners of the Clients’ Security Fund of Ohio (CSF) awarded $293,175.35 to 28 victims of attorney theft at its meeting Friday. Eighteen former or suspended Ohio attorneys were found to have misappropriated client funds. Four deceased Ohio attorneys were also involved in the claims presented to the board.

Access the Supreme Court of Ohio's online docket for more information about the disciplinary cases against some of these attorneys.

Brown County
A former client of former attorney Edward L. Harp was reimbursed $650 as a result of Harp’s failure to provide the services requested. Harp resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on Sept. 2, 2004.

Butler County
Former clients of two Butler County attorneys will receive reimbursement from the fund.

The board determined that a former client of disbarred attorney Karan M. Horan was eligible for reimbursement of a $5,000 fee paid for services that were not provided. Horan was permanently disbarred from the practice of law in Ohio on Aug. 26, 2009.

A former client of suspended attorney Eric L. Emerson was reimbursed $1,250 as a result of Emerson’s failure to provide the services requested. Emerson’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely on June 25, 2009.

Cuyahoga County
The board determined that former clients of four Cuyahoga County attorneys were eligible for reimbursement. Two former clients of deceased attorney David H. Drucker were reimbursed a total of $2,695 as a result of Drucker’s failure to provide the services requested before his death on June 24, 2008.

A former client of disbarred attorney Alexander Jurczenko was reimbursed $5,000 as a result of Jurczenko’s failure to provide the services requested. Jurczenko was permanently disbarred from the practice of law in Ohio on July 25, 2007.

A former client of former attorney James L. Major Jr. was reimbursed $475 as a result of Major’s failure to provide the services requested. Major resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on Sept. 28, 2007.

Two former clients of suspended attorney Howard V. Mishler were reimbursed a total of $41,783.01 as a result of Mishler’s failure to provide the services requested and to distribute funds held for the benefit of his client. Mishler’s license to practice law was suspended on Oct. 21 following his theft conviction.

Fairfield County
A former client of former attorney Steven E. Zigan was reimbursed $5,000 as a result of Zigan’s failure to provide the services requested. Zigan was permanently disbarred from the practice of law in Ohio on May 1, 2008.

Franklin County
The board determined that a former client of suspended attorney Tanya J. Kizer was reimbursed $500 as a result of Kizer’s failure to provide the services requested. Kizer’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended on Sept. 17, 2009.

Greene County
The board determined that a former client of suspended attorney Y. Nicole Camp was eligible for reimbursement of $850 in legal fees paid to Camp for services that she failed to provide. Camp’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely on Oct. 14.

Highland County
A married couple and former clients of ex-attorney John W. Slagle were reimbursed $10,000 as a result of Slagle’s conversion of client funds. Slagle resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on Feb. 25, 2009. Slagle is currently incarcerated as a result of his theft conviction.

Lake County
A former client of suspended attorney Doreen M. Cantrell was reimbursed $25,000 as a result of her conversion of client funds. Cantrell’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely on May 20 following her criminal conviction.

Lucas County
The board determined that former clients of two Lucas County attorneys were eligible for reimbursement. A married couple and former clients of ex-attorney Karyn McConnell Hancock were reimbursed $2,502 as a result of her conversion of client funds. Hancock resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on April 29, 2008.

A former client of former attorney Darrell V. Van Horn Jr. was reimbursed $50,272.82 as a result of Van Horn’s conversion of client funds. Van Horn resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on March 4.

Mahoning County
A former client of former attorney Lawrence J. Seidita was reimbursed $4,143.25 as a result of his failure to account for client funds. Seidita resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on Sept. 15, 2000.

Montgomery County
The board determined that former clients of two Montgomery County attorneys were eligible for reimbursement from the fund. Two former clients of suspended attorney Keith J. Brown were eligible for reimbursement of a total of $2,635 as a result of Brown’s failure to provide the services requested. Brown’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely on Dec. 15, 2009.

Preble County
The board reimbursed $49,628.09 to two former clients of deceased attorney Herd L. Bennett. Bennett obtained funds from his former clients allegedly under false pretenses and failed to repay the funds before his death on April 9, 2002.

Ross County
A former client of former attorney Rebecca E. Bobb was reimbursed $2,776 as a result of Bobb’s failure to provide the services requested. Bobb resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on Sept. 24.

Stark County
The board determined that former clients of two former Stark County attorneys were eligible for reimbursement. A former client of former attorney Edward S. Asper was reimbursed $300 as a result of Asper’s failure to provide the services requested. Asper resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on Sept. 15, 2008.

Two former clients of former attorney Michael R. Russell were reimbursed a total of $2,330 as a result of Russell’s failure to provide the services requested. Russell resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on Oct. 3, 2008.

Summit County
The board determined that a former client of deceased attorney Lawrence R. Smith was eligible for reimbursement of $2,500 paid to Smith. The board found that the services were not completed and the fee was not refunded. Smith died on June 17, 2008.

The CSF was created in 1985 by the Supreme Court to reimburse victims of attorney theft, embezzlement or misappropriation. The CSF is not taxpayer funded, but funded entirely by registration fees paid by every Ohio attorney. Ohio has more than 43,000 attorneys engaged in the active practice of law. Less than one tenth of 1 percent of those attorneys is involved in CSF claims.

Law clients who believe they have sustained financial losses resulting from attorney theft, embezzlement or misappropriation should contact the CSF at 614.387.9390 or toll-free in Ohio at 1.800.231.1680.

Contact: Janet Green Marbley, 614.387.9390, or Chris Davey, 614.387.9250.