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Applicant Permanently Barred from Taking Bar Exam

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2011-1423. In re Application of Poignon, Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-2915.
On Report by the Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness, No. 492.
Daniel Paul Poignon, of Monclova, Ohio, is forever precluded from reapplying for the privilege of practicing law in Ohio.
O’Connor, C.J., and Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, Lanzinger, and McGee Brown, JJ., concur.
O’Donnell and Cupp, JJ., not participating.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2012/2012-Ohio-2915.pdf

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(July 5, 2012) The Supreme Court of Ohio today denied the application of Daniel P. Poignon of Monclova to take the Ohio Bar Examination, and permanently barred Poignon from reapplying for admission to the legal profession in Ohio.

The court based its decision on findings that Poignon’s past felony conviction, the revocation of his license as a pharmacist, and his failures to seek or obtain gainful employment or to demonstrate personal or financial responsibility over a period of many years showed a lack of the character and fitness necessary to be entrusted with the legal affairs of others now or in the future.

In a 5-0 per curiam decision adopting the findings and recommendation of its Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness, the court cited the minimum requirements imposed by the state’s bar governance rules. “An applicant to the Ohio bar must prove by clear and convincing evidence that he or she ‘possesses the requisite character, fitness, and moral qualifications for admission to the practice of law.’  ....  The applicant’s record must justify ‘the trust of clients, adversaries, courts, and others with respect to the professional duties owed to them.’  ...  ‘A record manifesting a significant deficiency in the honesty, trustworthiness, diligence, or reliability of an applicant may constitute a basis for disapproval of the applicant.’”

“Poignon’s flouting of the standards of the pharmacy profession, his violations of the laws of this state, his ongoing failure to accept responsibility for his behavior and its consequences, his inability or unwillingness to maintain stable, gainful employment, his neglect of his own financial responsibilities, and his apparent ignorance of his own family’s serious financial and legal matters constitute a persistent and ongoing pattern of conduct spanning at least 20 years. In light of this pattern, we agree with the board’s conclusion that ‘the ideals of trustworthiness and honesty that are so crucial to the legal profession simply would not be served by allowing [Poignon’s] admission.’”

The court’s opinion was joined by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Paul E. Pfeifer, Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Judith Ann Lanzinger and Yvette McGee Brown. Justices Terrence O’Donnell and Robert R. Cupp did not participate in the court’s deliberations or decision in the case.

Michael R. Thomas, 614.464.5686, for the Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness.

James E. Brazeau, 419.249.7900, for Daniel Poignon.