The first week of May is Law Week with the Akron Bar Association. On Monday to kick off the week, the Ray Horner Morning Show welcomed a slew of attorneys to speak about their expertise. Dean Carro - Akron Bar Association

Farhad Sethna - Immigration

Linda Ulinski - Estate & Will Planning

Debora Ruby - Marital Law

Nancy Holland - Workplace Harassment

Elizabeth Knowles - Immigration & Human Rights Law

Jeff Laybourne - Defense Attorney

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Monday, 24 October 2016 09:30

Akron Bar Ranks Judicial Candidates

Four judges on the ballot winning "excellent" ratings from the Akron Bar Association ahead of the election in two weeks. Tom Teodosio, Lynne Callahan, Donna Carr and Todd McKenney recognized based on seven criteria including integrity, knowledge of the law, experience and judicial temperment. The other candidates on the ballot seeking office in the Ninth District Court of Appeals, Domestic Relations and Common Pleas court also received "good" or "adequate" listings.

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(Akron Bar Association) The Akron Bar Association Commission on Judicial Candidates has been established by the Akron Bar Association to evaluate candidates for local judgeships. The Commission rates the candidates "Excellent," "Good," "Adequate," or "Not Acceptable." Ratings are based on seven criteria: integrity, legal knowledge and ability, professional experience, judicial temperament, diligence, personal responsibility and public and community service.

The Akron Bar Association has created a website to not only promote the Commission's ratings, but to serve as a central source of information about the local judicial candidates appearing on the November ballot. In addition to the ratings, links to the candidates' websites and social media pages can easily be found. All ratings require a majority vote of the Commission; a rating of "Excellent" requires two thirds supermajority of the Commission. The ratings are not intended to be a comparison or endorsement of candidates, but only represent the Commission's evaluation of each individual candidate's qualifications for the specific office sought.

A rating of "Adequate" requires a vote of a majority of the Commission members present. If a candidate is rated "Adequate," a second ballot is taken to determine if the rating "Good" will be awarded, also requiring a vote of the majority of the Commission members present. If a candidate is rated "Good," a third ballot is taken to determine if the rating "Excellent" will be awarded. The "Excellent" rating requires the affirmative vote of a two-thirds majority of the Commission members present. The Commission is comprised of 28 experienced members of the Akron Bar Association selected by its Common Pleas, Municipal & Appellate Courts Committee, Family Law Section, Probate Law Section, the co-chairs of the Commission and the Bar President. No more than 50% of the Commission may be from any one political party. All candidates complete a questionnaire containing extensive biographical data and submit relevant materials, including writing samples. References for the candidates are interviewed and intensive interviews of the candidates are conducted.

This year, the Commission evaluated the judicial candidates running in the election scheduled for November 8, 2016. The ratings are as follows: Candidate ABA Commission Rating

9th District Court of Appeals:

Term Beginning 2/9/17 Diana M. Stevenson ADEQUATE Thomas A. Teodosio EXCELLENT

9th District Court of Appeals:

Term Beginning 2/11/17 Lynne S. Callahan EXCELLENT

9th District Court of Appeals:

Term Beginning 2/10/17 Donna J. Carr EXCELLENT

Court of Common Pleas - Domestic Relations Division

Begin 1/6/17 Ron Cable GOOD Katarina Cook GOOD

Court of Common Pleas - General Division

Begin 1/3/17 Joy Malek Oldfield GOOD Scot Stevenson GOOD

Court of Common Pleas - General Division

Begin 1/5/17 Alison Breaux ADEQUATE Todd McKenney EXCELLENT

Published in Local
Thursday, 19 November 2015 09:16

Akron Lawyer In Trouble Again

Not only is a former Akron attorney not allowed to practice law -- she's being chided again by the Ohio Supreme Court for not surrendering the documents that lawyers need to practice. Jana Bassinger DeLoach was first suspended back in 2010, publicly reprimanced in 2012, charged with misconduct by the Akron Bar Association in 2013 and ordered in May of this year to turn in her registration card and certificate of admission to practice law.

The Court today ruled she's in contempt for not turning the documents to the Supreme Court. DeLoach's practice concentrated on immigration, civil and criminal cases.

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(Ohio Supreme Court ruling 11/19/2015) In re Resignation of DeLoach. It is ordered by this court, sua sponte, that Jana Bassinger DeLoach, Attorney Registration No. 0071743, last known business address in Akron, Ohio, is found in contempt for failure to comply with this court’s order of May 14, 2015, to wit: failure to failure to surrender her attorney-registration card and her certificate of admission and failure to file an affidavit of compliance on or before June 15, 2015.

Background May 2015:

(Ohio Supreme Court) The Supreme Court first suspended DeLoach’s law license in December 2010 for failing to comply with her CLE requirements. In August 2011, the court issued a six-month stayed suspension and a two-year period of monitored probation for engaging in dishonest conduct during a disciplinary investigation, and in October 2012, she was publicly reprimanded for failing to notify clients that she lacked professional liability insurance.

In May 2013, the Akron Bar Association charged DeLoach with professional misconduct for neglecting a client matter, charging the client an excessive fee, and failing to deposit the client’s retainer into a trust account. The disciplinary board recommended a two-year suspension, with both years stayed if DeLoach met certain conditions. The court, recognizing that the actions questioned by the bar association took place during the same time she was being sanctioned for other rule violations, decided to issue one year of actual suspension with the second year stayed.

The suspension is the result of DeLoach taking a $7,000 retainer from Rose Warren in April 2008 to investigate the murder conviction of her son, OsRouge Turner, and obtain Turner’s release from prison. DeLoach told Warren she would charge $250 per hour until she reached $7,000 and if further work was required, she would continue without charge.After taking the fee, DeLoach failed to obtain a trial transcript and public records in Turner’s case. She did not file a motion for resentencing, the first step in the process for obtaining Turner’s release, until May 2010, two years after his mother retained DeLoach, the court noted.

The resentencing motion was three pages long, and DeLoach failed to file a brief in reply to the state’s 10-page memorandum opposing Turner’s resentencing. “She told Turner that she would update and resubmit the brief, but she failed to file anything additional with the court,” the per curiam opinion stated.

DeLoach admitted to the disciplinary board that she did not act with diligence in filing the motion and some of her early work was not necessary. The board found she made bad tactical decisions and failed to manage her caseload so that she could handle the Turner case competently. Both the board and the court found DeLoach violated the professional conduct rule requiring a lawyer to act with reasonable diligence and promptness when representing a client.

Warren asked for a full refund of her $7,000 retainer, but DeLoach declined to refund the money and did not provide a billing statement to her. During the disciplinary proceedings, an expert testifying on behalf of the bar association said it was likely DeLoach spent 16.6 hours working on Turner’s case and could have charged Warren $4,150, leaving Warren a $2,850 refund. DeLoach then agreed to pay the refund, but waited 36 days after the disciplinary hearing to pay. The court deemed that DeLoach violated the rule prohibiting lawyers from charging a clearly excessive fee, and that DeLoach never placed the money into a client trust account where she could withdraw payments after documenting the time spent working for the client.

In determining the sanction, the opinion explained that actions leading to her prior disciplinary charges had taken place within months of the wrongful conduct in handling the Turner case. “Thus, DeLoach committed some of the underlying misconduct while her first disciplinary case was pending,” the opinion noted. “More importantly, we would have sanctioned DeLoach differently in her prior cases if we had been aware of the extent of her misconduct.”

The court ruled its stay of the second year of suspension is contingent on DeLoach not committing further misconduct, completing 12 hours of legal education in law practice management and recordkeeping, and submitting to monitored probation.

Published in Local