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Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association v. Brown.

October 13, 2011

CLEVELAND METROPOLITAN BAR ASSOCIATION
v.
BROWN.



ON CERTIFIED REPORT by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline of the Supreme Court, No. 10-059.

Per curiam.

[Until this opinion appears in the Ohio Official Reports advance sheets, it may be cited as Cleveland Metro. Bar Assn. v. Brown, Slip Opinion No. 2011-Ohio-5198.]

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-5198

[Until this opinion appears in the Ohio Official Reports advance sheets, it may be cited as Cleveland Metro. Bar Assn. v. Brown, Slip Opinion No. 2011-Ohio-5198.]

Attorney misconduct, including failing to keep a client informed, failing to promptly deliver funds that a client is entitled to receive, and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation-- Indefinite license suspension.

Submitted June 21, 2011

{¶1} Respondent, Shawn Javon Brown of Cleveland, Ohio, Attorney Registration No. 0079331, was admitted to the Ohio bar in 2005.

{¶2} In November 2009, we suspended Brown for failing to register with the Office of Attorney Services for the 2009/2011 biennium, as required by Gov.Bar R. VI. In re Attorney Registration Suspension of Brown, 123 Ohio St.3d 1475, 2009-Ohio-5786, 915 N.E.2d 1256. Brown is still under this suspension.

{¶3} Between June 29, 2009, and January 14, 2010, three separate grievances were filed against Brown with relator, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. On July 14, 2009, and February 16, 2010, Brown submitted cursory responses to these grievances to relator. Brown was deposed by relator on March 10, 2010.

{¶4} On June 14, 2010, relator filed a three-count complaint with the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline charging Brown with professional misconduct. The charged misconduct arose from his alleged (1) neglect of client matters, (2) failure to communicate with clients and respond to their requests for information, (3) failure to properly maintain and deliver client funds and property, (4) failure to provide competent representation, and (5) conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.

{¶5} The board sent notice of relator's complaint to Brown and requested his written answer within 20 days of June 17, 2010. The board, however, was unable to serve Brown at his place of employment or his residence. The board thereafter perfected service on September 7, 2010, through the clerk of the Supreme Court pursuant to Gov.Bar R. V(11)(B) (clerk is agent for attorney who conceals his or her whereabouts).

{ΒΆ6} Brown did not file an answer to the complaint. On February 14, 2011, relator filed a motion for default judgment pursuant to Gov.Bar R. V9(6)(F). In support of its motion for default, relator submitted affidavits of the grievants, affidavits of two of relator's staff attorneys, letters from Brown to relator acknowledging that he was aware of the grievances filed against him, and a transcript of Brown's deposition. Relator also submitted evidence showing that between late November and early December 2010, Brown communicated with relator through a series of telephone calls and ...


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