The Ohio Best Courtroom has suspended indefinitely a Delaware County lawyer accused of bilking 4 of his purchasers and mendacity to them.
Robert M. Owens was once accused of “deceitful and cheating behavior, failing to keep in touch and failing to supply a well timed refund to 4 separate purchasers.” in line with the criticism filed ultimate yr via the court-appointed Ohio Board of Skilled Habits.
The court docket issued its ruling Tuesday following a number of months of investigation, detailing 4 instances the place the board made up our minds that Owens’ purchasers had been strung alongside via false guarantees, questionable billing and outright robbery.
Owens, 48, who may just now not be reached instantly for remark, is going through prison investigations in no less than two of the instances. Information display that Delaware police are investigating.
Robert M. Owens: What the lawyer misconduct criticism says
Essentially the most egregious misconduct started in 2018 with a consumer in the hunt for a divorce, in line with the board’s criticism.
Owens falsely instructed the person that he will have to deposit greater than $60,000 in a distinct account, which might be managed via the court docket. Owens instructed him that he may just most effective achieve get entry to to the buyer price range if Owens proved he had earned it.
Consumer agree with price range are recurrently utilized by lawyers for retainers and different price range, however they aren’t managed via the court docket.
Mismanagement of such agree with accounts is “one of the vital commonplace moral violations dedicated via attorneys,” in line with Investopedia, a web based monetary media corporate.
Owens additionally prompt the person to depart him with further price range “to defend it from chapter motion that (the buyer) was once meaning to report,” in line with the criticism.
The buyer ultimately gave Owens bills totaling greater than $150,000, most effective $46,000 of which Owens had earned via appearing products and services. A lot of the buyer’s price range in Owens’ account had been depleted and proven for use via Owens for private bills.
3 different an identical instances concerned smaller quantities however integrated purchasers who depended on Owens and changed into indignant and determined as their listening to dates approached and Owens didn’t reply to them or go back their cash.
The suspension order famous that Owens will have to now not supply any form of prison recommendation, will have to pay off consumer money owed, and will have to notify all events that he had touch with that he’s now not authorised to follow regulation. He’s eligible to petition for reconsideration at a later date if sure prerequisites are met. If he does not, he faces everlasting disbarment.
Owens, whose billing charge was once $300 consistent with hour, ultimate yr closed his follow in downtown Delaware, telling a few of his purchasers that he was once coping with “deep melancholy” following the dying of his father, the criticism states. He started his regulation follow in 1998.
Owens confronted a an identical one-year suspension in 2018 for a similar form of misconduct.