On Friday, October 6, 2023, The Board of Professional Conduct of the Supreme Court of Ohio issued a recommendation for public reprimand against attorney Robert Charles Buchbinder for violating the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Robert Charles Buchbinder,” with case no. 2023-012.
Buchbinder, who has been practicing law in Ohio since 1988, specializes in transportation defense, representing trucking companies and their drivers. The disciplinary proceedings revolve around his representation of James McNeill, Jr. and Western Express concerning a motor vehicle accident that occurred in Ohio in June 2020.
The allegations against Buchbinder include:
- Failure to Provide Required Information: Buchbinder neglected to provide James McNeill with the Statement of Insured Client’s Rights, as mandated by Professional Conduct Rule 1.8(f).
- Failure to Advise on Counterclaim: Despite being aware of the need to pursue McNeill’s bodily injury claim as a counterclaim in another lawsuit, Buchbinder did not convey this information to McNeill or his attorney, Christina Pendleton.
- Lack of Informed Consent: Buchbinder entered into an aggregate settlement agreement with the opposing party without obtaining McNeill’s written, informed consent.
- Misleading Communication: Buchbinder did not inform McNeill and Pendleton about the terms of the settlement, specifically that it barred McNeill’s bodily injury claim. When questioned about the settlement, he claimed the terms were confidential.
After careful consideration of the ethical violations and relevant factors, the Board has recommended a public reprimand as the suitable sanction for Robert Charles Buchbinder. This decision is supported by several mitigating factors, such as his unblemished 35-year legal career and his cooperation throughout the disciplinary proceedings.
The recommendation states:
“Pursuant to Gov. Bar R. V, Section 12, the Board of Professional Conduct considered this matter on October 6, 2023. The Board voted to accept the agreement entered into by Relator and Respondent and recommends that Respondent, Robert Charles Buchbinder, be publicly reprimanded.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Buchbinder is a criminal defense attorney in Columbus, Ohio. At the time of writing, he is listed as a partner at Crabbe, Brown & James LLP. He acquired his law license in Ohio in 1988.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.