In a unanimous decision, the Ohio Supreme Court has given Atty. James Vivo of Canfield a one-year stayed suspension from law practice, which has the effect of putting him on probation for a year.
The stayed suspension, imposed Thursday, was based on a Mahoning County Bar Association finding that Vivo filed a medical malpractice lawsuit he wasn’t qualified to handle and was neglectful in handling that suit, which was dismissed without a trial.
Vivo acknowledged those violations of the lawyer’s Code of Professional Responsibility, and he acknowledged his initial failure to cooperate with the state’s professional disciplinary process.
The state’s top court said the stay of the suspension is contingent on Vivo’s continuation of his treatment for depression, which the court said contributed to his misconduct.
If Vivo fails to comply with his treatment, he must actually serve the suspension, the court warned.
The association noted that Vivo had no dishonest or selfish motive for his misconduct and no prior disciplinary record in 12 years of Ohio legal practice.
Attys. John Juhasz and Lynn Maro, who represented Vivo in the matter, did not respond to a request for comment. Vivo could not be reached to comment.