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Disciplinary Counsel v. Hoskins

Supreme Court of Ohio

May 23, 2017

Disciplinary Counsel
v.
Hoskins.

          Submitted February 8, 2017

         On Certified Report by the Board of Professional Conduct of the Supreme Court, No. 2015-077.

          Scott J. Drexel, Disciplinary Counsel, for relator.

          Robert Hoskins, pro se.

          Per Curiam.

         {¶ 1} Respondent, Robert Hansford Hoskins, of Cincinnati, Ohio, Attorney Registration No. 0068550, was admitted to the practice of law in Ohio in 1997.

         {¶ 2} On February 19, 2015, the Supreme Court of Kentucky suspended Hoskins's license to practice law in that state for 60 days. Kentucky Bar Assn. v. Hoskins, 454 S.W.3d 289 (Ky.2015). We imposed reciprocal discipline on April 23, 2015, suspending Hoskins from the practice of law in Ohio for 60 days, and we conditioned his reinstatement on several factors, including his reinstatement in Kentucky. Disciplinary Counsel v. Hoskins, 142 Ohio St.3d 1244, 2015-Ohio-1532, 30 N.E.3d 964. The Ohio suspension remains in effect.

         {¶ 3} In a March 4, 2016 amended complaint, relator, disciplinary counsel, charged Hoskins with multiple violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct in the course of representing six separate clients-including allegations that he knowingly continued to practice law while his license was suspended, impersonated a former colleague in dealings with opposing counsel and the courts of this state, lied to his clients about the status of his license to practice law, and failed to respond to relator's demands for information.

         {¶ 4} And on June 28, 2016, during the pendency of this action, we indefinitely suspended Hoskins from the practice of law in yet another disciplinary action upon finding that he had engaged in "a disturbing pattern of neglect and an ongoing failure to comply with established rules and procedures-not to mention a flagrant disobedience of court orders and a troubling propensity to engage in dishonesty when his actions are questioned." Cincinnati Bar Assn. v. Hoskins, __ Ohio St.3d __, 2016-Ohio-4576, __ N.E.3d __, ¶ 43-44. We also found him in contempt of our April 23, 2015 reciprocal-discipline order and fined him $600 for continuing to practice law in three cases while his license was under suspension. Id. at fn. 2; Disciplinary Counsel v. Hoskins, 146 Ohio St.3d 1425, 2016-Ohio-4594, 52 N.E.3d 1201.

         {¶ 5} Hoskins answered relator's complaint, admitting to some-but not all-of the alleged facts and rule violations. However, he did not appear at the panel hearing on the matter. Relator presented the testimony of six witnesses and submitted 43 exhibits to demonstrate Hoskins's misconduct. The Board of Professional Conduct issued a report finding that Hoskins committed multiple violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct and recommended that he be permanently disbarred.

         {¶ 6} We adopt the board's report and recommendation and permanently disbar Hoskins from the practice of law in Ohio.

         Misconduct

         Count One: Bertke Electric Company, Inc.

         {¶ 7} On February 3, 2015, Hoskins commenced a civil action on behalf of his client Bertke Electric Company, Inc., a family business partly owned by Kevin Bertke. Following our April 23, 2015 suspension of his Ohio law license, Hoskins continued to practice law by ...


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