On Thursday, June 29, 2023, the Ohio Disciplinary Counsel filed a complaint against attorney Nathaniel Earl Wilkinson. The case is entitled “Disciplinary Counsel v. Nathaniel Earl Wilkinson, Esq” with case no. 2023-019.
The charges cited Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(d) and 8.4(h) which states:
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice,
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in any other conduct that adversely reflects on the lawyer’s fitness to practice law.
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
On April 4, 2019, Medina County Job and Family Services (MCJFS) lodged a complaint stating that B.F., a mother of four children, had substance abuse problems and had experienced a heroin overdose while her children were present in the residence. MCJFS sought the removal of B.F.’s children. Following this, on November 6, 2019, the court designated a guardian ad litem (GAL), which happened to be Wilkinson. The role of a GAL includes the responsibility to furnish the court with recommendations regarding the best interests of the child.
However, upon serving as guardian, Wilkinson allegedly engaged in misconduct by visiting B.F. while she was employed as an exotic dancer. He further violated professional conduct by purchasing a beer for the same, providing cash, and presenting her with two unfounded allegations as supposed options. Wilkinson demanded that she admit to using illegal substances in order to consider recommending the return of her children, thus breaching the applicable ethical guidelines.
The filing states:
“B.F. was working as an exotic dancer at Christie’s Cabaret, which was an adult entertainment club located several blocks from the respondent’s office. Respondent entered the establishment and located B.F. Despite B.F. ‘s alleged substance abuse issues, the respondent bought her a beer. B.F. suspected the respondent was trying to get her to drink the beer, but she did not consume it. Respondent proceeded to discuss the custody case with B .F. for approximately one hour. Respondent also gave $40 to B.F. during their conversation.”
The filing continues:
“Respondent told Elias that he visited B.F. at her place of employment and later presented her with the two options. On July 16, 2020, the court held a review hearing. During the hearing, Elias questioned the respondent about the two options he presented to B.F. During questioning, the respondent admitted that he did not have the evidence upon which to base his statement in Option I that B.F. was “an intelligent young woman who knows how to pass a drug test.” Respondent further admitted that he did not have any evidence on which to base his insinuation in Option 1 that B.F. was “hippie flipping,” which he explained was using LSD and psilocybin at the same time, and that she had gone “on a bender in Vegas.”
Based on the facts, the Disciplinary Counsel asked the Supreme Court to sanction Wilkinson.
The Request states:
“Relator requests that respondent be found in violation of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct and sanctioned accordingly.”
Mr. Wilkinson practices in Medina, Ohio. He is licensed in Ohio. His info can be found on avvo.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.