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Lake County Bar Association v. Troy.

September 29, 2011

LAKE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
v.
TROY.



ON CERTIFIED REPORT by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline of the Supreme Court, No. 10-018.

Per curiam.

Until this opinion appears in the Ohio Official Reports advance sheets, it may be cited as Lake Cty. Bar Assn. v. Troy, Slip Opinion No. 2011-Ohio-4913.

NOTICE

This slip opinion is subject to formal revision before it is published in an advance sheet of the Ohio Official Reports. Readers are requested to promptly notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of Ohio, 65 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215, of any typographical or other formal errors in the opinion, in order that corrections may be made before the opinion is published.

SLIP OPINION NO. 2011-Ohio-4913

Attorneys at law -- Misconduct -- Multiple violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct and refusal to cooperate -- Indefinite license suspension.

Submitted June 21, 2011

{¶1} Respondent, Bartley J. Troy of Mentor, Ohio, Attorney Registration No. 0031600, was admitted to the practice of law in Ohio in 1981. In February 2009, we suspended respondent's license for one year, with six months stayed on conditions, for violating three Disciplinary Rules. Lake Cty. Bar Assn. v. Troy, 121 Ohio St.3d 51, 2009-Ohio-502, 901 N.E.2d 809. His license remains suspended for his failure to register with the Office of Attorney Registration for the Supreme Court.

{¶2} On February 8, 2010, relator, the Lake County Bar Association, filed a three-count complaint with the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline. The complaint charged respondent with professional misconduct based on his alleged neglect of client matters, failure to provide competent representation, failure to keep clients informed about their cases, engaging in dishonest conduct, and failing to cooperate with or respond to the resulting disciplinary investigations. In investigating the complaint, counsel for relator made at least six attempts to contact respondent and discuss the allegations. Respondent did not reply to any of these contacts.

{¶3} The Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline twice attempted to serve respondent with a copy of the complaint by certified mail at the address he had registered with the Office of Attorney Registration and a subsequent address, but the letter was returned unclaimed. Therefore, the clerk of the Supreme Court of Ohio accepted service on respondent's behalf on April 12, 2010, in accordance with Gov.Bar R. V(11)(B). Respondent again failed to respond, and on July 6, 2010, relator filed a motion for default in accordance with Gov.Bar R. V(6)(F), supported by affidavits of counsel, affidavits of the three affected clients, and other supporting materials.

{¶4} The board referred the motion to a master commissioner, who granted the motion, made findings of misconduct, and recommended respondent's indefinite suspension from the practice of law and payment of restitution. The board adopted the master commissioner's report in its entirety. We adopt the board's findings of facts and misconduct, order restitution, and indefinitely suspend respondent from the practice of law in Ohio.

Misconduct

Count One

{ΒΆ5} In March 2006, Adrienne Merrill engaged respondent in a divorce proceeding and paid him a $600 retainer. Respondent had the parties sign certain documents that he was to file, along with documents to establish the paternity of her minor child. About two years later, ...


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