On Wednesday, August 30, 2023, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association took legal action against attorney Edward Paul Brueggeman, filing a complaint with the Board of the Professional Conduct of the Supreme Court of Ohio. Brueggeman is facing allegations of engaging in unauthorized practice of law, raising concerns about his professional conduct and adherence to legal regulations.
The case is entitled “Edward Paul Brueggeman v. Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association” with case no. 2023-024.
The charges cited Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct 1.16(a), 5.5(a), 5.5(b)(2), 8.4(c) which states:
A lawyer shall not represent a client or, where representation has commenced, shall withdraw from the representation of a client if the representation will result in violation of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.
A lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, or assist another in doing so.
A lawyer who is not admitted to practice in this jurisdiction shall not hold out to the public or otherwise represent that the lawyer is admitted to the law in this jurisdiction.
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
The complaint cites several instances of alleged professional misconduct, suggesting that Brueggeman may have violated the state’s Rules of Professional Conduct and the Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio. In the first count of the complaint, Brueggeman is accused of continuing to operate as a co-administrator in the Wells Estate even after being suspended from the practice of law on April 23, 2020. The complaint alleges that he engaged in negotiations and finalized a settlement agreement within the Wells Estate, actions considered clear violations of professional conduct rules.
The second count raises similar concerns, asserting that Brueggeman misrepresented his legal status to Attorney Michael S. Spillane, effectively practicing law in the Breitfelder Estate even after his suspension. It is alleged that he even drafted legal documents while under suspension, a direct breach of professional conduct rules. Count three focuses on Brueggeman’s alleged refusal to cooperate with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s disciplinary investigation. Despite multiple opportunities to respond and collaborate, he reportedly ceased communication and neglected to address the inquiries, a behavior that directly contravenes regulations mandating cooperation with such investigations.
The fourth and final count pertains to Brueggeman’s representation of a client in the Alsip divorce while administratively suspended. He is said to have falsely claimed that his suspension was merely an oversight, another violation of professional conduct rules. This case is not the first time Brueggeman’s legal career has faced disciplinary actions, as outlined in the complaint.
Brueggeman now faces potential significant consequences for his legal career, including suspension or disbarment, if found guilty of violating professional conduct rules.
The Disposition states:
“Wherefore, pursuant to Gov. Bar R. V, and the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct, Relator alleges that Respondent is chargeable with misconduct. Therefore, Relator prays that Respondent be disciplined pursuant to Rule V of the Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Brueggman is a construction and development attorney in Mason, Ohio. He is the owner of the Brueggeman Law Office. He acquired his law license in Ohio in 1973.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.