► Today’s Ethical Judge Award Winner is: Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor Print E-mail

Today’s Ethical Judge Award Winner is: Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor

 

 
Congratulations to….
 
Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor
Today’s “Ethical Judge” Award Winner
 
On Feb 16, 2011, the Ohio Supreme Court heard oral arguments concerning an attorney disciplinary matter regarding David Romaine Pheils, Jr. (Toledo Bar Assn v Pheils – Case No. 2010-1886), the video of which can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/6jklrvs.
 
Pheils was charged with an egregious conflict of interest when he effectuated and negotiated a loan to a client in regards to pending litigation. The loan documents were prepared by Pheils and the note was made out to his wife Joanne.
 
Pheils’ sham defense was that no conflict of interest existed because the loan came from his wife’s own personal funds. He testified that had had no control over Joanne’s finances or affairs and that was in effect an “independent woman.” This claim is patently false in that in the past Pheils has testified that his wife has no occupation other than “housewife.”
 
The Wood County cases and docket entries found at the end of this article wherein Joanne was a plaintiff or defendant prove that she never personally paid for any court costs. These cases that began in 1994 through 2005 related to a sham lawsuit instituted by the Pheils’ against Dr. Black and his wife.
 
A cursory review of Chief Justice O’Connor’s interrogation of Pheils’ attorney-partner Marshall D. Wisniewski clearly demonstrates that she was not buying into Pheils’ sham claims that his wife was an “independent actor” in regards to the loan he made to his client.
 
Sometime in 2005, Pheils and his wife Joanne were made to pay Dr. Black and/or his attorney James Nooney of Eastman and Smith in Toledo nearly $100,000 due to a finding by the trial judge that their conduct “obviously served merely to harass or maliciously injure plaintiffs [Blacks] and that plaintiffs were adversely affected by that conduct.” This ruling was upheld by the Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court.
 
It would appear that Mr. Pheils repeatedly perjured himself when testifying in the disciplinary hearings. Moreover, it would be frivolous for anyone to claim that Mr. Wisniewski was not aware of Pheils’ false testimony when he argued in support of it at the Feb 16 hearing.
 
I suspect that if attorney Jim Nooney (419-247-1692) were contacted about receipt of the $100,000 paid by Pheils, it would prove that the funds came from Pheils’ law firm (Pheils & Wisniewski) or that funds were withdrawn from said firm prior to issuance of the check to Mr. Nooney.
 
Chief Justice O’Connor deserves to be applauded for her aggressive interrogation of Mr. Wisniewski and her obvious disbelief in the sham defense he was putting forth during oral arguments.
 
Congrats Chief Justice; keep up the good work! We should let your constituents all know of your ethical efforts in rooting out the truth.
 
The Dawg~
Folsom, California
 
1996CV0073 Black, George vs. Pheils, Jr., David R & Joanne
05/09/03 – Pheils’ ordered to pay $25,000 + $7,500 interest on prior settlement agreement
05/09/03 – Phiels’ ordered to pay $38,940 + $11,670 interest re: Black’s attorney fees to Jim
 
2003WD0045 Black, George vs. Pheils, Jr., David R & Joanne
06/04/03 - $150 appeal filing fee paid by Pheils & Wisniewski
06/03/05 - $414.90 in court costs paid by Pheils & Wisniewski
 
2002WD0018 Black, George vs. Pheils, Jr., David R & Joanne
03/26/02 - $150 appeal filing fee paid by Pheils & Wisniewski
 
1996CV0073 Black, George vs. Pheils, Jr., David R & Joanne
08/05/05 - $300 jury deposit paid by Pheils & Wisniewski
 
1995WD0028 Pheils, Joanne L vs. Black, Betty C
01/01/90 - $100 filing fee paid by Crandall, Pheils & Wisniewski
 
1994CV0046 Pheils, Joanne L vs. Black, Betty C
02/11/94 - $130 filing fee paid by Crandall, Pheils & Wisniewski
 
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