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Dec. 6, 2011
Victims of Attorney Theft Awarded Nearly $170,000 by Clients' Security Fund

The Board of Commissioners of the Clients’ Security Fund of Ohio (CSF) awarded $169,074 to 37 victims of attorney theft at its meeting Friday. Twenty former or suspended attorneys were found to have misappropriated client funds. One deceased attorney was also involved in a claim presented to the board.

The CSF was created in 1985 by the Supreme Court of Ohio 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.

Learn more about the disciplinary cases against some of these attorneys via the Supreme Court’s online docket.

Columbiana County
A former client of suspended attorney Richard V. Hoppel was reimbursed $650 as a result of Hoppel’s failure to provide the services requested. Hoppel’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended for a period of two years, with the final 18 months stayed, on June 8.

Cuyahoga County
The board determined that former clients of five Cuyahoga County attorneys were eligible for reimbursement. Two former clients of suspended attorney Shawn Javon Brown were reimbursed a total of $1,100 as a result of Brown’s failure to provide the services requested. Brown’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely on Oct. 13.

A former client of suspended attorney Dwight E. Davis was reimbursed $2,500 as a result of Davis’s failure to provide the services requested. Davis’ license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely on March 18, 2009.

A former client of suspended attorney Frank X. Gresley was reimbursed $500 as a result of Gresley’s failure to provide the services requested. Gresley’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended for a period of two years, with six months stayed, on Dec. 22, 2010.

Former clients (a husband and wife) of suspended attorney Howard V. Mishler were reimbursed $4,500 as a result of Mishler’s failure to provide the services requested and failure to distribute funds held for the benefit of his client. Mishler was permanently disbarred from the practice of law in Ohio on Dec. 14, 2010, following his theft conviction.

A former client of former attorney Cory J. Rubino was reimbursed $1,000 as a result of Rubino’s failure to provide the services requested. Rubino was permanently disbarred from the practice of law in Ohio on Sept. 20, 2007.

Franklin County
The board determined that former clients of five Franklin County attorneys were eligible for reimbursement. Former clients (a husband and wife) of former attorney Philip Lon Allen were reimbursed $7,000 as a result of Allen’s failure to provide the services requested. Allen resigned from the practice law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on March 4, 2010.

The board determined that a former client of former Franklin County attorney Lindsey T. Burt was reimbursed $300 as a result of Burt’s failure to provide the services requested. Burt resigned from the practice law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on April 14.

The board reimbursed a total of $15,323 to nine former clients of retired/deported attorney James Ddumba as a result of Ddumba’s failure to provide the services requested. Ddumba’s application to permanently retire was granted on Aug. 11, 2010.

A former client of former attorney C. Mark Kiesling was reimbursed $75,000 as a result of Kiesling’s conversion of client funds. Kiesling was permanently disbarred from the practice of law in Ohio on April 12, 2010.

A former client of former attorney Eric J. Strawser was reimbursed $1,000 as a result of Strawser’s failure to provide the services requested. Strawser resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on Oct. 21.

Gallia County
The board determined that four former clients of disbarred Gallia County attorney James R. Henry were eligible for reimbursement of a total of $4,628 in legal fees paid to Henry for services that he failed to provide. Henry was permanently disbarred from the practice law in Ohio on Dec. 22, 2010. 

Highland County
A former client of former attorney John W. Slagle was reimbursed $4,721 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.

Huron County
A former client of deceased attorney Gregory A. Shell was reimbursed $12,000 as a result of Shell’s failure to provide the services requested before his death. Shell died on Aug. 16, 2008.

Lake County
A former client of suspended attorney Bartley J. Troy was reimbursed $1,250 as a result of his failure to provide the services requested. Troy’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely on Sept. 29.

Lucas County
The board determined that former clients of three Lucas County attorneys were eligible for reimbursement. A former client of suspended attorney Gerald A. Baker was reimbursed $3,181 as a result of Baker’s failure to provide the services requested. Baker’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely on May 28, 2009. 

A former client of former attorney William A. Garrett was reimbursed $7,975 as a result of Garrett’s failure to provide the services requested. Garrett resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on Nov. 24, 2010.

A former client of former attorney Karyn McConnell Hancock was reimbursed $15,214 as a result of her conversion of client funds. McConnell Hancock resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on April 29, 2008.

Sandusky County
The board determined that five former clients of former attorney Andrew C. Lockshin were eligible for reimbursement of a total of $6,089 as a result of Lockshin’s failure to provide the services requested. Lockshin resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with discipline pending, on Nov. 24, 2010.

Stark County
The board determined a former client of suspended attorney Glenn M. Schiller was eligible for reimbursement of $1,099 as a result of Schiller’s failure to provide the services requested. Schiller’s license to practice of law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely on Sept. 23, 2009.

Summit County
The board determined that a former client of suspended attorney Harry J. Wittbrod was eligible for reimbursement of $4,044 paid to Wittbrod. The board found that the services were not completed and the fee was not refunded. Wittbrod’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended indefinitely on Sept. 21.

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