On Thursday, November 30, 2023, Attorney Douglas W. Bulson Jr. was suspended from practicing law for 18 months, with 12 months stayed, by the Ohio Supreme Court for neglecting a client’s domestic relations case.

The case is entitled “Columbus Bar Association v. Douglas W. Bulson Jr.,” with case no. 2023-Ohio-4258.

The case stems from Bulson being hired on January 8, 2013, by Amy Shepherd, now known as Amy Maggard, to finalize a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) separating $19,427 from her ex-husband’s 401k account as part of their agreed divorce settlement. However, Bulson failed to take the necessary actions to complete the QDRO for over eight years, despite frequent inquiries from Shepherd. In April 2021, Bulson promised Shepherd the QDRO would be finalized within 30 days but then failed to communicate further. Shepherd filed a grievance with the Columbus Bar Association in June 2021, which initiated an investigation.

In his October 2021 written response, Bulson acknowledged delays in preparing the QDRO but claimed to be taking steps to submit a draft to the pension administrator. However, he had not yet done so. The QDRO was finally approved and the funds were transferred in November 2022, over nine years after initially being awarded.

A three-member panel of the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct held a hearing on the matter in April 2022. In a report issued, the Board found Bulson violated rules requiring diligence, communication with clients, and keeping clients informed. They recommended an 18-month suspension with 12 months stayed based on Bulson’s prior disciplinary history from 2020 and the significant harm to Shepherd.

In its November 30 order, the Ohio Supreme Court adopted the Board’s recommendation. Bulson is also ordered to complete additional legal education and a one-year period of monitored probation upon reinstatement.

The Disposition states:

“Accordingly, the relator’s objections to the board’s report are overruled and Douglas W. Bulson Jr. is hereby suspended from the practice of law in Ohio for 18 months with 12 months stayed on the condition that he commit no further misconduct.”

According to avvo.com, Mr. Bulson Jr. is an attorney in Columbus, Ohio. He acquired his law license in Ohio in 1973.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.