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Supreme Court of Ohio
May 12, 2021, Submitted; November 23, 2021, Decided
[*267] [***66] Per Curiam.
[**P1] [****2] Respondent, John Alex Morton, of Richmond Heights, Ohio, Attorney Registration No. 0028021, was admitted to the practice of law in Ohio in 1975.
[**P2] In an April 2020 complaint, relator, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, [***67] alleged that Morton committed four ethical violations by making improper statements that impugned the integrity of judicial officers in a document filed in this court. Morton denied the charges and moved for dismissal of the complaint and then for summary judgment, but both motions were overruled. The matter proceeded to a hearing before a three-member panel of the Board of Professional Conduct. Based on the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel dismissed one alleged rule violation and found that Morton had committed three others. The panel recommended that Morton be suspended from the practice of law for one year with the entire suspension stayed on the condition that he commit no further misconduct. The board adopted the panel's findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommended sanction. Morton objects to the board's findings of misconduct and argues that the complaint should be dismissed. Relator objects to the recommended sanction and urges us to suspend [****3] Morton from the practice of law for six months with no stay.
[**P3] For the reasons that follow, we overrule Morton's objections and adopt the board's findings of misconduct. We also sustain relator's objection in part and suspend Morton from the practice of law for one year with six months stayed on the condition that he commit no further misconduct.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
166 Ohio St. 3d 266 *; 2021-Ohio-4095 **; 185 N.E.3d 65 ***; 2021 Ohio LEXIS 2321 ****
CLEVELAND METROPOLITAN BAR ASSOCIATION v. MORTON.
Subsequent History: Later proceeding at Clev. Metro. Bar Ass'n v. Morton, 167 Ohio St. 3d 1477, 2022-Ohio-2701, 2022 Ohio LEXIS 1593, 192 N.E.3d 498, 2022 WL 3137159 (Aug. 5, 2022)
Request denied by Clev. Metro. Bar Ass'n v. Morton, 167 Ohio St. 3d 1510, 2022-Ohio-3172, 2022 Ohio LEXIS 1831, 194 N.E.3d 375, 2022 WL 4129289 (Sept. 12, 2022)
Motion granted by Cleveland Metro. Bar Ass'n v. Morton, 168 Ohio St. 3d 1415, 2022-Ohio-3716, 2022 Ohio LEXIS 2118, 196 N.E.3d 838, 2022 WL 11174812 (Oct. 19, 2022)
Request granted Cleveland Metro. Bar Ass'n v. Morton, 2022-Ohio-4409, 2022 Ohio LEXIS 2481 (Ohio, Dec. 12, 2022)
Request granted Clev. Metro. Bar Ass'n v. Morton, 2022-Ohio-4410, 2022 Ohio LEXIS 2484 (Ohio, Dec. 12, 2022)
Prior History: [****1] ON CERTIFIED REPORT by the Board of Professional Conduct of the Supreme Court, No. 2020-021.
Schwartz v. Cuyahoga County Bd. of Revision, 2013 Ohio Tax LEXIS 6113 (Ohio B.T.A., Nov. 13, 2013)
Disposition: Judgment accordingly.
misconduct, reckless disregard, disciplinary, discipline, cases, practice of law, accusations, falsity, preserving, sanctioned, public confidence, public official, motivations, suspension, reputation, knowingly, reasonable attorney, judicial officer, political speech, qualifications, make a statement, false statement, objective test, impartiality, recommended, disciplinary proceeding, make a false statement, objective standard, judicial system, actual malice
Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Allocation, Tax Law, State & Local Taxes, Administration & Procedure, Judicial Review, Civil Procedure, Justiciability, Standing, Personal Stake, Legal Ethics, Practice Qualifications, Unauthorized Practice of Law, Sanctions, Disciplinary Proceedings, Investigations, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Freedoms, Freedom of Speech, Scope, Professional Conduct, Tribunals, Judicial Conduct, Opposing Counsel & Parties, Suspensions