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Victims of Attorney Theft Awarded Over $500,000

The Board of Commissioners of the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection recently awarded $501,502 to 11 victims of attorney theft.

A former Ohio attorney was found to have misappropriated client funds. The actions of two deceased attorneys also were involved in claims presented to the board. The board made its determinations in these cases during a meeting on Friday.

Disbursements are funded through registration fees paid by every Ohio attorney. The following are the latest awards:

Erie County
The board determined that nine former clients of deceased attorney Henry William Kishman were eligible for reimbursement. Kishman failed to account for $499,322 which he agreed to invest for his clients. He passed away in September 2021.

Franklin County
A former client of former attorney Timothy R. Dougherty was reimbursed $2,000 for Dougherty’s failure to provide services requested. Dougherty resigned from the practice of law in Ohio in May with disciplinary action pending.

Mahoning County
A former client of deceased attorney Donald Patrick Leone was reimbursed $180 for unfulfilled services. Leone resigned from the practice of law in Ohio, with disciplinary action pending, in May 2020. He died months later in December.

The Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection, formerly known as the Clients’ Security Fund, was created in 1985 by the Supreme Court of Ohio to reimburse victims of attorney theft, embezzlement, or misappropriation.

Ohio has nearly 44,000 attorneys engaged in the active practice of law. Less than 1% are involved in claims reimbursed by the fund.

Law clients who believe they sustained financial losses resulting from attorney theft, embezzlement, or misappropriation should contact the fund by calling 614.387.9390 or 1.800.231.1680 toll-free in Ohio.