On Monday, October 3, 2022, the Disciplinary Counsel filed charges for attorney discipline against Colombus attorney Rick Daniell, Esq. alleging Misconduct.
The case, titled Disciplinary Counsel v. Ric Daniell, Esq., is being heard by the Board of Professional Conduct of the Supreme Court of Ohio. Case #2022-041.
The charges cite rules of professional conduct 1.3, 4(a)(2), 1.4(a)(3), 1.4(a)(4), 1.15(c), 1.15(d), 1.15(a), 1.15(c) 8.1 (b) which state:
A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.
A lawyer shall reasonably consult with the client about the means by which the client’s objectives are to be accomplished
A lawyer shall keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter
A lawyer should comply as soon as practicable with reasonable requests for information from the client; and
A lawyer shall deposit into a client trust account legal fees and expenses that have been paid in advance, to be withdrawn by the lawyer only as fees are earned or expenses incurred.
Upon request by the client or third person, the lawyer shall promptly render a full accounting regarding such funds or other property.
A lawyer shall hold the property of clients or third persons that is in a lawyer’s possession in connection with a representation separate from the lawyer’s own property.
A lawyer may deposit the lawyer’s own funds in a client trust account for the sole purpose of paying or obtaining a waiver of bank service
charges on that account, but only in an amount necessary for that purpose.
A lawyer shall not knowingly fail to respond to a demand for information from a disciplinary authority.
The rules of professional conduct can be found here.
In November 2020, Joseph Camp (“Camp”) retained the respondent to represent him and his husband in an adoption case involving two minor children the Camps wished to adopt. Camp believes he agreed to pay the respondent $1,500 for his representation; however, the respondent and Camp did not sign a fee agreement, and the nature of the fee is unclear due to the respondent’s failure to cooperate with the relator’s investigation.
The respondent, on several occasions, ignored his clients and didn’t respond accordingly. He also didn’t have the required paperwork, resulting in delays in the final hearing and later converted to pretrials.
The filing states:
‘On June 1, 2021, the respondent appeared for the pretrial/notice hearing on the petitions to adopt the minor children. Camp did not attend due to the respondent’s statement to him that the hearing was postponed. The court noted that the Camps must demonstrate at the full hearing that all reasonable efforts were made to contact the birth parents regarding the adoption proceedings.’
The filing continues:
‘On May 19, 2021, Camp sent an email to the respondent stating: Are you okay? I have sent you several emails in the last couple of weeks, and called and left you a message, and haven’t gotten a response. 12 days till court, and I am sitting here clueless. You never got back to me with the papers or about the hospital documents or anything! I need to know if we can bring the girls with us or not.’
The Disciplinary Counsel requests that the Board of Professional Conduct of the Supreme Court of Ohio that the respondent be found in violation of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct and be sanctioned accordingly.
As of today, Mr. Daniell is listed on Westerville Law Firms as a practicing attorney. His info can be found at LawyerLegion.com. He attended the University of Toledo College of Law, graduating in 1978. Daniell practices in Colombus, Ohio. He is licensed in Ohio, license #32072.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.