Ohio Supreme Court disbars Cincinnati lawyer who impersonated ex-colleague

Attorney practiced law with suspended license
Ohio Supreme Court disbars Cincinnati lawyer who impersonated ex-colleague
Posted at 3:16 PM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 15:17:39-04

CINCINNATI -- The Ohio Supreme Court permanently banned a Hyde Park attorney from practicing law in Ohio after they said he continued working with a suspended license.

Robert Hoskins was disbarred in Ohio by the court's opinion, which was issued Tuesday and cited six counts of misconduct. Hoskins' license to practice law in Ohio was suspended in 2015 as reciprocal discipline after his Kentucky license was suspended. However, he continued to represent several clients and exhibited an "extensive pattern of deliberately and repeatedly violating this court's prior orders," the justices wrote.

Hoskins said the 60-day suspension in Kentucky was related to a complaint he never received. He presumed that the reciprocal Ohio suspension would end after the same period, he said. However, the Ohio Supreme Court justices wrote that Hoskins' reinstatement was conditioned on several factors and that the suspension remained in effect.

In one case during the suspension, Hoskins impersonated another lawyer -- a former co-worker -- in order to continue representing a client, according to the justices' opinion. Hoskins used the other attorney's name on a phone call and in an email address he created. When he later withdrew from the case, he didn't tell the client.

Hoskins was representing another client in a divorce case during his suspension. He falsely said he could still practice law, but then stopped responded to his client and never refunded $1,500 paid to him, the justices wrote. In addition to the suspension, they ordered Hoskins to pay back the money.

The Ohio Supreme Court had previously found Hoskins in contempt of its suspension order and fined him $600 for practicing in three cases while his license was suspended.

Hoskins "also acted with a dishonest or selfish motive by knowingly continuing to practice law in multiple cases while his license was under suspension; by repeatedly lying to his clients, the courts and other attorneys; and even by impersonating a former colleague to facilitate his misconduct," the justices wrote.

Hoskins said he had no plans to try to appeal the decision and that he had already turned in his resignation.

Read the court's full opinion below:

2017-ohio-2924 by WCPO Web Team on Scribd