Lawyer questioned for using Ohio Supreme Court justice’s name on business

By Julie Carr Smyth - Associated Press

COLUMBUS — A former law partner of Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill faces a six-month provisional suspension for using the justice’s name on office signs and business cards.

The Democratic justice initially agreed to the plan by Thomas C. Brown, of Geneva, to open “O’Neill & Brown Law Office” in 2015, not realizing it was improper.

The local bar association will argue Wednesday that Brown continued using O’Neill’s name despite claiming he’d stopped. Brown says the practice has now been renamed.

O’Neill joined the court in 2013. Ohio professional conduct rules prohibit a firm from using the name of a lawyer who holds public office in its title when the lawyer in office isn’t currently practicing there. Rules also prohibit making false and misleading claims about a firm’s members and longevity.

By Julie Carr Smyth

Associated Press

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