On Wednesday, July 19, 2023, the Toledo Bar Association lodged a formal grievance against attorney Joseph W. Westmeyer, III before the Board of Professional Conduct of the Supreme Court of Ohio. The complaint cited Westmeyer’s alleged misconduct, which centered on his delayed delivery of rightful payments and purported lack of reasonable diligence in handling client representation.
The case is entitled “Toledo Bar Association v Joseph W. Westmeyer III” with case no. 2023-022.
The charges cited Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct 1.4(a)(3), 1.4(a)(4), 1.3, 1.15(a), 1.15(d), 1.16(d), 8.1(b), 1.5(c)(2), 1.15(e), 8.4(c), 1.4(c), 1.15(a)(2), 1.15)(a)(5), and 1.15(e).
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
Reportedly, Westmeyer III was accused of engaging in five instances of alleged misconduct. These purported missteps encompass: omitting precise payment details from a settlement’s closing statement, providing inaccurate representations of disbursed amounts in settlement statements, deferring payment deliveries, failing to exhibit reasonable diligence, neglecting professional liability insurance maintenance, and lapses in upholding escrow records.
According to the filing, on March 4, 2021, Dr. Schwaflz filed a grievance against Joseph W. Westmeyer, III, the Respondent, for failing to honor the agreement and alleged misconduct. Dr. Schwartz stated that Joseph W. Westmeyer, III purportedly issued check number 24982 from his IOLTA account in the amount of $2,500.00 payable to Dr. Schwartz. However, Dr. Schwartz denies receiving IOLTA check 24982 and further states that he never received any payment from Joseph W. Westmeyer, III on the balance he claims as due.
The filing states that Joseph W. Westmeyer, III did not pay Dr. Schwartz his charges of $4,794 and did not make any attempt to contact Dr. Schwartz or reach an agreement regarding payment from the settlement proceeds. Joseph W. Westmeyer, III claims to continue holding a portion of the settlement funds in trust. Despite the existence of a written agreement of protection agreed upon by Joseph W. Westmeyer, III, he has failed to issue payment to Dr. Schwartz from the settlement proceeds allegedly held in trust.
The filing further mentions that since December 2019, Mount has been contacted by various creditors claiming liens allegedly related to medical care due to the 2019 accident. From January 2020 through September 2021, Mount made numerous requests to Joseph W. Westmeyer, III for status updates on the claim, a summary of the lien status, and an expected distribution date for the settlement proceeds. However, Joseph W. Westmeyer, III did not provide any meaningful response.
Additionally, the filing notes that Joseph W. Westmeyer, III did not have professional liability insurance at the time he represented Meyers, Hicks Gover, or Mount, and he did not inform his clients, in writing or otherwise, of his failure to maintain professional liability insurance.
In relation to the aforementioned misconduct and violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the relator, Toledo Bar Association, requested the board to discipline the respondent accordingly.
The conclusion states:
“WHEREFORE, pursuant to Gov. Bar R. V and the Rules of Professional Conduct, Relator alleges that Respondent is chargeable with misconduct, and Relator requests that Respondent be disciplined pursuant to Rule V of the Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio.”
Mr. Westmeyer III attended the University of Toledo, graduating in 1999. He practices in Toledo, Ohio. He is licensed in Ohio. His info can be found on martindale.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.