Submitted August 6, 2019
Certified Report by the Board of Professional Conduct of the
Supreme Court, No. 2018-054.
Robison, Curphey & O'Connell, L.L.C., and Robert C.
Tucker; Dean A. Horrigan; and Joseph P. Dawson, Bar Counsel,
Coughlan Law Firm, L.L.C., and Jonathan Coughlan, for
1} Respondent, Jerry James Bishop II, of Toledo,
Ohio, Attorney Registration No. 0016287, was admitted to the
practice of law in Ohio in 1979.
2} In an April 1, 2019 amended complaint, relator,
Toledo Bar Association, alleged that Bishop committed five
ethical violations by causing his elderly clients, Isadore
and Helen Urbanski, to amend an annuity contract to designate
Bishop's wife and his sons' Boy Scout troop as
contingent beneficiaries and then giving false testimony
about that conduct during the ensuing disciplinary
3} The parties entered into stipulations of fact and
mitigating factors and submitted 33 stipulated exhibits.
After a hearing before a panel of the Board of Professional
Conduct, the board issued a report finding that Bishop
committed four of the five alleged violations and recommends
that he be suspended from the practice of law for two years
with one year stayed on the condition that he commit no
4} Based on our review of the record, we accept the
board's findings of misconduct and recommended sanction.
5} Bishop met the Urbanskis in the summer of 2013
and agreed to represent them with regard to their
6} In October 2013, the Urbanskis designated their
church as the contingent beneficiary of an annuity contract
that they had purchased from New York Life Insurance Company
in 2006. But on December 21, 2013, they signed a
change-of-beneficiary form that designated Bishop's wife
and his sons' Boy Scout troop as the contingent
beneficiaries of that annuity. The form, which was completed
by hand, identified Bishop's wife by her maiden name,
Maureen McQuillen, though she had not used that name for
nearly 20 years. The next day, the Urbanskis executed their
wills, with Bishop and his wife serving as their witnesses.
7} In October 2015, PNC Investments sent the
Urbanskis a letter advising them that although they had
designated McQuillen and a Boy Scout troop as the contingent
beneficiaries of their New York Life annuity contract, they
had not designated a primary beneficiary for that annuity. A
friend who helped care for the Urbanskis saw the letter when
he reviewed their mail. After Isadore Urbanski died in March
2016, the friend attached a copy of the letter to a grievance
he filed with relator.
8} In Bishop's initial response to the grievance
in June 2017, he did not acknowledge that he was involved in
changing the beneficiary designation on the Urbanskis'
annuity. He did state, however, that neither his wife nor the
Boy Scout troop could be named as a beneficiary ...