On Thursday, February 8, 2024, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued an Order to Show Cause for attorney John Joseph Coomes. This action comes after Coomes received a 45-day suspension from the Indiana Supreme Court for violations of that state’s professional conduct rules.

The case is entitled “Disciplinary Counsel v. John Joseph Coomes,” with case no. 2024-0199.

According to records from the Indiana case, Coomes had applied for and received a provisional license to practice law in Indiana in 2018. However, during the application process, Coomes failed to disclose an ongoing civil marital dissolution case in Ohio where he was actively litigating issues. He also made inaccurate statements about his work history and hours practicing law.

Specifically, Coomes did not reveal the Ohio dissolution case when asked on the Indiana application if he had been a named party in any civil actions. Further, at a hearing in the Ohio case, Coomes admitted to submitting falsified tax returns in connection with a mortgage refinance. This omitted information was not discovered by Indiana authorities until after Coomes had already been admitted to practice law there.

On November 1, 2023, the Indiana Supreme Court approved a Statement of Circumstances and Conditional Agreement for Discipline between Coomes and the Indiana Disciplinary Commission. This disciplinary agreement stipulated that Coomes’ conduct violated Indiana rules regarding knowingly making false statements to the Board of Law Examiners in a bar application and failing to correct subsequent misapprehensions. As a result, Coomes received an agreed-upon 45-day suspension from practicing law in Indiana.

Now, the Ohio Supreme Court Order to Show Cause gives Coomes 20 days to provide cause as to why he should not receive identical reciprocal discipline for this same misconduct, per Ohio’s disciplinary rules regarding out-of-state suspensions. Coomes will have to explain why imposing a 45-day Ohio suspension would be unwarranted given the circumstances. A final determination in the Ohio case is pending Coomes’ response to the show cause order.

The Order to Show Cause states:

“On consideration thereof, it is ordered by the Supreme Court of Ohio that respondent, John Joseph Coomes, Attorney Registration No. 0086761, notify this court, within 20 days of the service of this order to show cause, of any claim predicated upon the grounds set forth in Gov.Bar R. V(20)(C)(l) that the imposition of identical or comparable discipline in this State would be unwarranted and the reasons for that claim.”

According to avvo.com, Mr. Coomes is an employment & labor attorney in Milford, Ohio. He acquired his law license in Ohio in 2010. 

A copy of the original filing can be found here.