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GIRARD Attorneys for school board file motion against parents' lawyer



Published: Fri, September 21, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The attorney says he plansto take the Ohio Bar Exam in July.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Lawyers representing the Girard school board have asked a judge not to allow an attorney representing a parents group to practice law in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

Attys. Lou Damiani and Bruce A. Zaccagnini of Cleveland filed motions with the court Thursday.

They argue that Atty. Sebastian Rucci, who represents several parents who filed a petition to have the members of the board removed from office, should not be allowed to practice because he is not licensed in the state of Ohio.

Rucci filed a motion asking the judge to grant him special status to practice law in his court. He has his license in California and in federal court in Ohio.

Rucci said he has moved to Ohio and plans to take the bar exam in July.

Accused of 'disregard': Damiani said in his motion that Rucci should not be granted the special status on the grounds of conduct and "blatant disregard for Ohio laws."

The attorneys state in the motion that in another case pending in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, Rucci had sought a temporary restraining order to keep Prospect Elementary School closed.

"He claimed an urgency that required the court to provide him with an expedited hearing date," the motion states.

"He then appeared at the hearing with no evidence to support his claim, contrary to the evidentiary and procedural burdens imposed upon him by Ohio law."

Judge Peter Kontos denied the request for the restraining order.

The attorneys also state in the motion that Rucci had previously said he was going to take the bar exam in February and now has changed the date to July.

Rucci says that if the judge denies his request, the parents will represent themselves.

Parents' complaint: The parents filed the complaint to have the board removed because they say the board members didn't inform parents about reported health problems at the intermediate school.

The school was closed in May, and work is being done to correct problems with the ventilation system and carpeting. School officials have said it will not reopen until they are satisfied it is safe.




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