The legal profession is like the medical profession in some ways. The client is to the attorney what the patient is to the doctor.
In both situations a person is putting their well-being in the hands of another, relying on the professional's in-depth training and experience. If a legal professional in Ohio, through some negligence, betrays that trust, the damage can be very real and may warrant seeking compensation through civil action.
Just such action is under way in Pennsylvania now. All the possible proceedings have not concluded, but already the state Supreme Court has accepted the defendant attorney's voluntary surrender of his law license. He has been disbarred. That happened just a few weeks ago.
The lawyer in question is a fairly high profile individual. He was a member of the defense team in the child molestation case against Jerry Sandusky. The issues that have led to his own legal problems are accusations that he misappropriated funds in connection with a client's divorce and suspicion of tax evasion by state and federal officials.
To date, no criminal charges have been filed, but a grand jury is reportedly considering evidence that could result in an indictment.
What appears to have triggered all of this activity is the claim stemming from the divorce. According to court documents in that case, the attorney had been assigned the task of distributing the proceeds of the sale of the couple's marital home.
The ex-husband was supposed to have received $60,000 by Feb.3 of this year. When that didn't happen, documents indicate the man tried to get the issue resolved and was met with excuses and delays from the attorney and his firm.
On Feb. 28, a court order was issued directing the attorney to pay up and in March a deeper investigation by the local district attorney's office was launched.
Source: Penn Live, "Supreme Court accepts Sandusky lawyer Karl Rominger's voluntary disbarment," Matt Miller, April 11, 2014
Source: Penn Live, "Former Sandusky attorney has more than $310K in federal, state tax liens filed against him," Steve Marroni, March 10, 2014