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Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association v. Donchatz

Supreme Court of Ohio

May 16, 2017

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Relator,
v.
Kenneth Ronald Donchatz, Respondent,

         ON CERTIFIED REPORT BY THE BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OF THE SUPREME COURT

          ORDER

          Maureen O'Connor Chief Justice

         The Board of Professional Conduct filed its final report in this court on June 6, 2016, recommending that pursuant to Gov.Bar R. V(12)(A)(3), respondent, Kenneth Ronald Donchatz, be suspended from the practice of law for a period of two years, with six months stayed on the condition that respondent engage in no further misconduct. Relator filed objections to said final report, respondent filed objections to said final report, respondent filed an answer, relator filed an answer, oral argument was held, and this cause was considered by the court.

         On consideration thereof, it is ordered and adjudged by this court that pursuant to Gov.Bar R. V(12)(A)(2), respondent, Kenneth Ronald Donchatz, Attorney Registration No. 0062221, last known business address in Columbus, Ohio, is indefinitely suspended from the practice of law consistent with the opinion rendered herein.

         It is further ordered that respondent immediately cease and desist from the practice of law in any form and respondent is forbidden to appear on behalf of another before any court, judge, commission, board, administrative agency, or other public authority.

         It is further ordered that effective immediately, respondent is forbidden to counsel, advise, or prepare legal instruments for others or in any manner perform legal services for others.

         It is further ordered that respondent is hereby divested of each, any, and all of the rights, privileges, and prerogatives customarily accorded to a member in good standing of the legal profession of Ohio, It is further ordered that before entering into an employment, contractual, or consulting relationship with any attorney or law firm, respondent shall verify that the attorney or law firm has complied with the registration requirements of Gov.Bar R. V(23)(C). If employed pursuant to Gov.Bar R. V(23), respondent shall refrain from direct client contact except as provided in Gov.Bar R, V(23)(A)(1) and from receiving, disbursing, or otherwise handling any client trust funds or property.

         It is further ordered that respondent be taxed the costs of these proceedings in the amount of $11, 136.88, which costs shall be payable to this court by cashier's check or money order on or before 90 days from the date of this order. It is further ordered that if these costs are not paid in full on or before 90 days from the date of this order, interest at the rate of 10% per annum shall accrue as of 90 days from the date of this order and the matter may be referred to the Attorney General for collection. It is further ordered that respondent is liable for all collection costs pursuant to R.C. 131.02 if the debt is certified to the Attorney General for collection. It is further ordered that respondent may not petition for reinstatement until costs and all accrued interest are paid in full.

         It is further ordered that pursuant to Gov.Bar R. X(13), respondent shall complete one credit hour of continuing legal education for each month, or portion of a month, of the suspension. As part of the total credit hours of continuing legal education required by Gov.Bar R. X(13), respondent shall complete one credit hour of instruction related to professional conduct required by Gov.Bar R. X(3)(B) for each six months, or portion of six months, of the suspension.

         It is further ordered by the court that within 90 days of the date of this order, respondent shall reimburse any amounts that have been awarded against respondent by the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection pursuant to Gov.Bar R. VIII(7)(F). It is further ordered by the court that if after the date of this order, the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection awards any amount against respondent pursuant to Gov.Bar R. VIII(7)(F), respondent shall reimburse that amount to the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection within 90 days of the notice of such award.

         It is further ordered that respondent shall not be reinstated to the practice of law in Ohio until (1) respondent complies with the requirements for reinstatement set forth in the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio, (2) respondent complies with the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio, (3) respondent complies with this and all other orders of the court, and (4) this court orders respondent reinstated.

         It is further ordered that on or before 30 days from the date of this order, respondent shall do the following:

1. Notify all clients being represented in pending matters and any co-counsel of respondent's suspension and consequent disqualification to act as an attorney after the effective date of this order and, in the absence of co-counsel, also notify the clients to seek legal service elsewhere, calling attention to any urgency in seeking the substitution of another attorney in respondent's place;
2. Regardless of any fees or expenses due respondent, deliver to all clients being represented in pending matters any papers or other property pertaining to the client or notify the clients or co-counsel, if any, of a suitable time and place where the papers or other property may be obtained, ...

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