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Medina, Columbus Attorneys Suspended

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In separate disciplinary actions announced today, the Supreme Court of Ohio suspended the licenses of attorneys Eric D. Hall of Medina and Earl D. McNeal of Columbus.

2011-1017.  Disciplinary Counsel v. Hall, Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-783.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 10-042. Respondent, Eric D. Hall, Attorney Registration No. 0067566, is suspended from the practice of law in the state of Ohio for 24 months with 6 months stayed, followed by a one-year probation.
O'Connor, C.J., and Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Donnell, Lanzinger, Cupp, and McGee Brown, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2012/2012-Ohio-783.pdf

(March 1, 2012) The Supreme Court of Ohio has suspended  the law license of Medina attorney Eric D. Hall for two years, with the final six months of that term stayed on conditions, for neglecting legal matters entrusted to him by nine different clients and failing to respond to those clients’ inquiries about their cases.

In a 7-0 per curiam decision announced today, the court also adopted findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline that in seven cases Hall failed to refund fee advances he received from clients despite failing to perform the promised legal work, and in one case made false statements to a client misrepresenting that he had filed a complaint in court.

In setting the sanction for this misconduct, the court noted the mitigating factors that Hall had no prior disciplinary infractions, did not act with a selfish or dishonest motive and had cooperated with disciplinary authorities. The court also cited the aggravating factors that Hall had engaged in a pattern of misconduct that involved multiple rule violations, and that his acts and omissions had caused harm to vulnerable clients.

As  conditions for his future reinstatement to practice, the court required that Hall refrain from any further misconduct, pay full restitution to the clients whose retainers he had not refunded, and pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings resulting in today’s judgment.

Contacts
Jonathan E. Coughlan, 614.461.0256, for the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Christopher J. Weber, 614.462.5400, for Eric Hall.

2011-1732.  Disciplinary Counsel v. McNeal, Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-785.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 11-032. Earl Darren McNeal, Attorney Registration No. 0059218, is suspended from the practice of law in Ohio for one year.
O'Connor, C.J., and Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Donnell, Lanzinger, Cupp, and McGee Brown, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2012/2012-Ohio-785.pdf

(March 1, 2012) In a 7-0 per curiam decision announced today, the Supreme Court of Ohio suspended the license of Columbus attorney Earl D. McNeal for one year for submitting false pay forms for hours he had not worked while serving as an officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps, and for making personal use of his military LexisNexis account in connection with his private law practice.

The court adopted findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline that McNeal, who failed to submit an answer to the complaint filed against him or to appear for scheduled depositions or a hearing before the board, had violated the state disciplinary rules that prohibit an attorney from engaging in conduct involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty or misrepresentation, conduct that reflects adversely on an attorney’s fitness to practice law, and conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

Contacts
Jonathan E. Coughlan, 614.461.0256, for the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Earl D. McNeal, 614.224.7048.