Vitamin D And Bar Discipline

An oral argument scheduled today is summarized on the web page of the Ohio Supreme Court

The Board of Professional Conduct recommends the Ohio Supreme Court suspend Dayton attorney John Scaccia for 18 months, with the final six months stayed on conditions, for violating several professional conduct rules. The boards disciplinary panel heard in August several alleged instances of misconduct about his dealings with one client.

The Dayton Bar Association filed its complaint against Scaccia in January 2015. It found that Scaccia failed to timely respond to discovery requests from his clients employers attorney and failed to appear at the clients hearing. After a trial court dismissed the complaint when Scaccia didnt show up, the attorney failed to timely file an appeal. He also didnt pay two court-ordered monetary sanctions.

This isnt the first time Scaccia has faced discipline from the Supreme Court. The Court suspended Scaccia twice in the span of less than a year. In October 2014, he was suspended for one year, with six months stayed, and again in June 2015 for one year, with six months stayed, to run concurrent with his first suspension.

This time, the disciplinary board determined that Scaccia failed to act reasonably to protect the interest of his client. (The bar association) has proven, by clear and convincing evidence, that (Scaccia) violated his obligations under Prof. Cond. R. 1.3.

The board stated that because Scaccia has multiple instances of misconduct, has prior disciplinary offenses, and has denied he engaged in misconduct, the Court should give him an 18-month suspension with six months stayed.

Attorneys Objections

Scaccia argued that he had a host of personal heath and family issues that shouldve been taken into account, including a Vitamin D deficiency that led to absentmindedness, inattention to detail, and at times (him) literally falling asleep.

Scaccia noted that his personal health and family issues are at a minimum relevant to his unique situation, and set him apart from other cases where attorneys received less severe sanctions than what is recommended against (him).

With no discipline issues prior to his health problems, Scaccia is asking the Court to take these mitigating factors into account. In a brief his attorney states the Court should be satisfied that the actual suspension (Scaccia) has already served is more than sufficient to assuage any doubts about his ability to return to the practice of law. Scaccia is recommending that his prior suspension be sufficient and that the Court place him on probationary status with monitoring and mentoring.

Response from Bar Association

In response to Scaccias objections, the bar association filed a brief that argued in regards to the Vitamin D deficiency: No medical evidence of any kind was presented to substantiate that claim. Respondent recited that sickness of a child and the illness and death of his motherRespondent did not testify as to how these matters affected him in the practice of law nor that any contributed to his misconduct.

The bar association is asking the Court to affirm the disciplinary boards recommendations.

Video of the argument is linked here. (Mike Frisch)