Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ohio Judge Disbarred

Thanks to Tom Fields for sending us information about the disbarment of Judge Jeffrey Hoskins by the Supreme Court of Ohio. See link.

While The Columbus Dispatch’s article only details Hoskins’ illicit activities with regard to David K. Bliss, a man described as a “veteran grifter,” Estate of Denial finds the Supreme Court’s Opinion Summary of interest as it reads in part:

“…With regard to the offenses alleged during his years in private practice, the Court adopted the board’s findings that Hoskins engaged in a pattern of misconduct involving fraud, deceit, dishonesty or misrepresentation and committed other ethical offenses by repeatedly making improper and unauthorized withdrawals of money for his own use from the estates of several relatives over whose assets he exercised fiduciary control as executor or administrator. The board also found that Hoskins failed to timely disburse estate assets to the rightful beneficiaries, failed to keep required records accounting for his withdrawals and disbursements from the estates, charged excessive legal fees, and filed incomplete, inaccurate and misleading reports with the probate court that concealed his improper diversion of funds from the estates to his own use…”

With this characterization, Mr. Hoskins becomes another Involuntary Redistribution of Assets (IRA) practitioner, another grave robber. It’s interesting that our last three EoD updates have involved documentable misconduct or questionable acts on the part of lawyers and/or judges. Anyone see a pattern?

Estate of Denial has long advocated that any probate reform must include strengthening consequences for judicial and attorney misconduct. In fact, we support the potential for criminal prosecutions. The corrupt culture surrounding our probate systems are as problematic as some specific laws (or lack of). This area is critical and must be a component of any effective reform efforts.

Dealings between judge, con end in disbarment

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