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Greene County Attorney Disbarred

2003-1075. Greene Cty. Bar Assn. v. Fodal, 2003-Ohio-5852.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline of the Supreme Court, Nos. 01-19, 01-67, and 01-78.
Joe R. Fodal is permanently disbarred.
Moyer, C.J., Resnick, F.E. Sweeney, Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Connor and O'Donnell, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/newpdf/0/2003/2003-Ohio-5852.pdf Adobe PDF Link opens new window.

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(Nov. 19, 2003) The Supreme Court of Ohio today permanently disbarred attorney Joe R. Fodal of Fairborn for multiple violations of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

In a 7-0 decision, the court agreed with findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline that Fodal had engaged in a pattern of professional misconduct involving more than 20 incidents in which he accepted fees from various clients, failed to complete the legal tasks with which he was entrusted and failed to refund unearned fees.

Because Fodal, whose law license has been under an indefinite suspension since 2001 for previous disciplinary rule violations, failed to answer these additional complaints filed against him by the Greene County Bar Association, the Board of Commissioners appointed a special commissioner who reviewed the misconduct charges on motion for default and made findings and recommendations that were adopted by the board.

In today's decision the court agreed that Fodal violated disciplinary rules that prohibit:

The justices also found that Fodal violated the Supreme Court's bar governance rule that requires attorneys to cooperate with disciplinary authorities.

"Respondent (Fodal) routinely took his clients' money and provided nothing in return," the court held. "In the absence of any compelling mitigating evidence, the sanction for this misconduct and his disregard of the disciplinary process is disbarment."

Contacts
David R. Miles and Paul W. Barrett, 937.878.5266, for the Greene County Bar Association.

No contact information was provided by Mr. Fodal.