For many years we have provided ethics advice to Ohio Judges via a Judicial Hotline. We also answer ethics questions posed by the legal community to the Cincinnati Bar Association Hotline. But the majority of our ethics advice and counseling is for private clients. We can guide you through a question or issue, or provide feedback on your anticipated course of action while there is still an opportunity to adjust course. Your license is your most valuable asset—don’t take unnecessary risks with it. Be sure of your ethical responsibilities and obligations before you act.
Responding to Letters of Inquiry
For more than 25 years, we have assisted attorneys and judges responding to disciplinary investigations. Typically when a grievance is filed, the disciplinary authority begins its investigation by sending a Letter of Inquiry to the target seeking information and documents. Practitioners may also encounter circumstances in which they are well-advised to self-report their conduct to begin an investigation. The best practice is to engage counsel to assist in responding to the investigation. We have responded to over 500 Letters of Inquiry over the years and, in the vast majority of cases, the investigation has concluded without formal disciplinary proceedings.
Representing Lawyers and Judges in Disciplinary Proceedings
Disciplinary proceedings are administrative in nature. They are both similar to and distinct from civil and criminal litigation. Disciplinary investigations are confidential, but after the probable cause stage, the proceedings become public. The hearings (trials) are conducted before three member panels, and objections (appeals) are heard in the Ohio Supreme Court. Our years of practice in this field provide us with the specialized knowledge needed to provide an experienced and diligent defense. You can judge our expertise by reading the published opinions of our cases; watching our oral arguments on the Supreme Courts video archive; or attending one of the many seminars we give each year on ethics and Ohio’s Disciplinary System.
Bar Admissions and Unauthorized Practice of Law Proceedings
We advise and advocate for law students, out-of-state lawyers seeking admission to the Ohio Bar, as well as practitioners seeking to return to the practice of law after an indefinite suspension, in proceedings before the Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness. And we defend individuals facing proceedings before the Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law. Each of these practices is unique, with pitfalls that can be avoided with the assistance of competent counsel.
Other Professional Licenses
We also represent appraisers and insurance professionals in licensing matters and disciplinary proceedings.