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Ohio Disbars and Suspends Two Attorneys
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Summary: The Ohio Supreme Court took actions against two attorneys for financial mismanagement of client trusts.

Ohio’s top court disbarred one attorney and suspended another. The Ohio Supreme Court took action against the two attorneys after receiving two different complaints. Lisbon lawyer Virginia M. Barborak was permanently disbarred through a unanimous vote. A complaint was filed with the Columbiana County Bar Association.


Attorney Benjamin Joltin of Canfield has been suspended for two years after receiving and investigating the complaint filed with the Ohio Office of Disciplinary Counsel. The second year of his suspension is stayed on conditions.

Barborak was found to have failed to hold funds belonging to the probate estates in an interest-bearing trust account that was not a part of her own property. She failed to maintain required records documenting the funds she was entrusted with and she even went so far as to falsify bank statements and probate records in order to conceal her actions. She was appointed by the court as a fiduciary or counsel for a court-appointed fiduciary. Barborak admitted to the court that the account at one point reached $12,000 when it should have been over $170,000.

The complaint against Joltin also involved mismanagement of finances. He represented three clients in a complex divorce case, an eviction case, and a personal-injury case. He was fired by two of the clients. The complaint outlines how he mixed personal and client funds, misappropriated client funds, lied to one client about why the funds were not delivered promptly to the client’s funds, and failed to keep records for several years regarding his client trust account.

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Joltin has been ordered to serve one year of monitored probation, complete three hours of continuing legal education in relation to trust-account maintenance and other CLE requirements, remain in full compliance with his Ohio Lawyers Assistance Program, commit no other misconduct, and follow all of OLAP’s treatment recommendations.

Do you think Joltin should have been given a harsher punishment? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

To learn more about lawyers with financial problems, read these articles:



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