The Supreme Courtroom of Ohio immediately suspended a Portage County lawyer for one 12 months, with six months stayed, for having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a consumer then mendacity about it to a municipal court docket choose, a police chief, and an opposing lawyer.
In a unanimous per curiam opinion, the Supreme Courtroom discovered Michael Noble of Ravenna violated the moral guidelines governing the conduct of Ohio attorneys. The Workplace of Disciplinary Counsel filed a grievance towards Noble with the Board of Skilled Conduct in June 2021 based mostly on actions he took in 2018 by means of 2020.
Lawyer Begins Two-Yr Relationship With Shopper
In September 2018, a girl recognized in court docket information as “Jane Doe” employed Noble to deal with her divorce. Inside weeks of assembly, Noble and Doe began a sexual relationship that continued for nearly two years.
Doe’s husband, a police officer recognized in court docket information as “D.P.,” employed a divorce lawyer. Shortly after Noble filed the divorce grievance, D.P.’s lawyer met with Noble and requested if he was having an affair with Doe. Noble denied it. The husband’s lawyer instructed if the allegation have been true, Noble ought to withdraw from the case.
Noble then informed Doe he lied to the opposing lawyer and suggested her that she ought to rent one other lawyer to deal with the divorce. In January 2019, Noble withdrew from the case and transferred it to a different lawyer. The divorce grew to become closing in August 2019.
The board discovered Noble violated an ethics guidelines by having a sexual relationship with a consumer that didn’t exist previous to the client-lawyer relationship, and by making a false assertion of fabric reality in the midst of representing a consumer.
Lies Continued After Case Concluded
In 2020, Noble was campaigning for a Portage County Frequent Pleas Courtroom judgeship. He was additionally making an attempt to reconcile along with his ex-wife, after the 2 had been divorced for a number of years. He didn’t inform his ex-wife he was nonetheless courting Doe and didn’t need the connection with Doe to grow to be public information.
Noble denied to his ex-wife that he was having a relationship with Doe. He additionally informed his ex-wife that Doe’s ex-husband was a police officer who was wrongly accusing Noble and Doe of getting an affair. Noble’s ex-wife contacted D.P. looking for details about Noble and Doe. D.P. confirmed Noble’s ex-wife photographs indicating Doe and Noble have been nonetheless in a romantic relationship.
Noble’s ex-wife informed Noble that if he was being truthful about not being concerned with Doe, then they wanted to be involved about D.P.’s conduct. She mentioned if Noble was not having an affair, then D.P. possibly making an attempt to govern her into believing he was and was making an attempt to probe her for damaging details about Noble.
Police Chief Contacted
Noble and his ex-wife contacted the police chief of D.P.’s division and mentioned that D.P. was wrongly accusing Noble of getting an affair with Doe. Each Noble and his ex-wife filed a grievance with the chief towards D.P. When questioned by the chief, Noble denied the affair with Doe. The division then started a proper investigation of D.P.
D.P. had secretly recorded two encounters he had with Noble and the assembly he had with Noble’s ex-wife. He gave the investigator copies of these recordings. The division cleared D.P. of any wrongdoing, and charged Noble and his ex-wife with misdemeanor counts of falsification and making false alarms.
The cost towards Noble was dismissed, and his ex-wife pleaded responsible to disorderly conduct.
Lawyer Lies Throughout Courtroom Listening to
In December 2020, Noble sought to seal the report of his dismissed felony case. At a listening to on the matter, Noble testified that he did not mislead the police chief. Nevertheless, when confronted by a prosecutor, Noble admitted that he lied in his grievance about D.P.
The skilled conduct board discovered that Noble violated a number of moral guidelines throughout his encounters with the court docket and the police chief by making a false assertion to a court docket; partaking in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; and fascinating in conduct that adversely displays on his health to follow legislation.
Throughout his disciplinary proceedings, Noble expressed regret for his actions and introduced a written report from a counselor stating that he had made vital progress in remedy. The events collectively really helpful to the board that Noble be suspended for one 12 months with six months stayed with the situations that he not commit additional misconduct and proceed to collaborating in mental-health counseling.
The Courtroom adopted the board’s suggestion and additionally ordered Noble to pay the prices of the disciplinary proceedings.
2021-1519. Disciplinary Counsel v. Noble, Slip Opinion No. 2022-Ohio-2190.
Please word: Opinion summaries are ready by the Workplace of Public Info for most of the people and information media. Opinion summaries usually are not ready for each opinion, however just for noteworthy circumstances. Opinion summaries are to not be thought-about as official headnotes or syllabi of court docket opinions. The total textual content of this and different court docket opinions can be found on-line.
Acrobat Reader is a trademark of Adobe Programs Integrated.