Submitted June 7, 2017
Final Report by the Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law
of the Supreme Court, No. UPL 16-02.
J. Drexel, Disciplinary Counsel, and Stacy Solochek Beckman,
Assistant Disciplinary Counsel, for relator.
1} On April 19, 2016, relator, disciplinary counsel,
filed a complaint with the Board of Commissioners on the
Unauthorized Practice of Law alleging that respondent,
Lorraine Theresa Furtado, of Columbus, Ohio, engaged in the
unauthorized practice of law by preparing or modifying
multiple estate-planning documents for a single client in
2012 and 2013. In accordance with Gov.Bar R. VII(6), a copy
of the complaint along with notice of the right to file an
answer was sent to Furtado by certified mail on April 21,
2016. At that time, the complaint was also sent to Furtado by
regular mail. Although the certified mail to Furtado was
returned to the board "unclaimed" on May 23, 2016,
the regular mail was not returned. Therefore, pursuant to
Gov.Bar R. VII(10), service is deemed complete. However,
Furtado has failed to answer the complaint or otherwise
appear in the proceedings.
2} We agree that Furtado engaged in the unauthorized
practice of law and that an injunction and civil penalties
3} Furtado is a former Ohio attorney. She was
admitted to the practice of law in November 1986 and, in
1994, we suspended her license for two years based on her
federal conviction for embezzling government funds in
violation of 18 U.S.C. 641. Disciplinary Counsel v.
Furtado, 71 Ohio St.3d 20, 641 N.E.2d 184 (1994). We
reinstated her license in October 1997. Disciplinary
Counsel v. Furtado, 80 Ohio St.3d 1210, 686 N.E.2d 522
(1997). And on May 3, 2000, we accepted Furtado's
affidavit of resignation with disciplinary action pending.
In re Resignation of Furtado, 89 Ohio St.3d 1206,
728 N.E.2d 1083 (2000). That resignation is unconditional,
final, and irrevocable. See Gov.Bar R.
4} Beginning in May 2012, Furtado drafted multiple
estate-planning documents for Corlyss Richards, including a
durable power of attorney, a durable healthcare power of
attorney and living will, a memorandum of trust, an amendment
to a family trust agreement, and a last will and testament.
She also counseled Richards on several issues with regard to
the trust of Richards's father. Richards paid Furtado $8,
670 for her services through August 2013. This money has not
been returned despite Richards's demands for a refund.
Engaged in the Unauthorized Practice of Law
5} The Supreme Court of Ohio has original
jurisdiction regarding admission to the practice of law, the
discipline of persons so admitted, and all other matters
relating to the practice of law in Ohio. Article IV, Section
2(B)(1)(g), Ohio Constitution; Royal Indemn. Co. v. J.C
Penney Co., Inc., 27 Ohio St.3d 31, 34, 501 N.E.2d 617
(1986). Accordingly, this court has exclusive jurisdiction to
regulate the unauthorized practice of law in Ohio.
Greenspan v. Third Fed. S & L. Assn., 122 Ohio
St.3d 455, 2009-Ohio-3508, 912 N.E.2d 567, ¶ 16;
Lorain Cty. Bar Assn. v. Kocak, 121 Ohio St.3d 396,
2009-Ohio-1430, 904 N.E.2d 885, ¶ 16. The purpose of
that regulation is to "protect the public against
incompetence, divided loyalties, and other attendant evils
that are often associated with unskilled
representation." Cleveland Bar Assn. v.
CompManagement, Inc., 104 Ohio St.3d 168,
2004-Ohio-6506, 818 N.E.2d 1181, ¶ 40.
6} The unauthorized practice of law is the rendering
of legal services for another by any person not admitted or
otherwise certified to practice law in Ohio. Gov.Bar R.
VII(2)(A)(1). This includes the " 'preparation of
pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special
proceedings and the management of such actions and
proceedings on behalf of clients before judges and
courts.' " Land Title Abstract & Trust Co.
v. Dworken, 129 Ohio St. 23, 28, 193 N.E. 650 (1934),
quoting People v. Alfani, 227 N.Y. 334, 337-338, 125
N.E. 671 (1919).
7} An individual whose affidavit of resignation with
disciplinary action pending has been accepted by this court
is no longer authorized to practice law in this state.
See Gov.Bar R. VI(11)(A) through (C). And an
individual who is not authorized to practice law in this
state who gives legal advice and prepares wills, trusts, and
powers of attorney is engaged in the unauthorized practice of
law. See Disciplinary Counsel v. Goetz, 107 Ohio
St.3d 22, 2005-Ohio-5830, 836 N.E.2d 556, ¶ 9.
8} Because relator submitted sworn or certified
documentary prima facie evidence demonstrating that Furtado
modified and drafted estate-planning documents after
resigning from the practice of law with disciplinary action
pending, the board found that she engaged in the unauthorized
practice of law. See Gov.Bar R. VII(2)(A)(2)(b). We