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Adams County Attorney Disbarred

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2011-2032.  Disciplinary Counsel v. Wickerham, Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-2580.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 11-074.
Michelle Wickerham, Attorney Registration No. 0074984, is permanently disbarred from the practice of law in Ohio.
O'Connor, C.J., and Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Donnell, Lanzinger, Cupp, and McGee Brown, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2012/2012-Ohio-2580.pdf

(June 14, 2012) The Supreme Court of Ohio has permanently revoked the law license of former West Union attorney Michelle Wickerham for multiple violations of state attorney discipline rules in her dealings with more than 30 clients.

In a 7-0 per curiam decision announced today, the court adopted findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline that Wickerham accepted fee advances from dozens of clients but then failed to attend scheduled meetings and court appearances or to complete promised legal work in the clients’ cases, failed to respond to their requests for information about the status of their legal matters, and failed to refund the unearned fee advances despite clients’ requests that she do so.

In setting the sanction for Wickerham’s rule violations, the court noted as aggravating factors that she acted with a selfish motive, committed multiple violations that caused harm to multiple clients, and failed to cooperate with disciplinary authorities in the investigation of her misconduct. The court also noted that it had imposed an interim suspension against Wickerham’s law license in April 2011 to protect the public following the filing of multiple client grievances against her, and that her license was under a separate administrative suspension imposed in November 2011 for failure to comply with biennial attorney registration requirements.

Jonathan E. Coughlan, 614.461.0256, for the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Michelle Wickerham: No current contact information available.