By Ed Runyan
An attorney who provides criminal defense for indigent defendants in Warren-area courts is among four Trumbull County attorneys referred to the Ohio Supreme Court for possible disciplinary action.
Atty. Roger Bauer, whose law office is on Seneca Avenue, is the subject of a complaint involving a medical malpractice suit that went to trial in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court and resulted in a $9.7 million judgment for the family of a girl who was born with cerebral palsy.
Bauer was not the attorney who represented the family during the trial, but in 2000 Bauer had a conversation with the brother of the child’s mother, the complaint says. He talked with the brother about the possibility of legal action against the doctor who delivered the child.
According to the complaint written by the Mahoning County Bar Association, Bauer recommended Atty. Martin White to the family.
But Bauer asked for personal information on the child, mother and father. The brother secured the information and called Bauer back with it, the complaint said.
After that, Bauer contacted White and relayed the personal information to him regarding the family, leading White to believe the parents were clients of Bauer, but they were not, the complaint said.
In 2009, at the point where White concluded that the case would go to trial, White contacted Bauer to consult with him about it, then learned from the family that they were not clients of Bauer, the complaint said.
Bauer later contacted the mother and said he was “sorry that [she] did not remember meeting with him,” but the woman said she wouldn’t even recognize Bauer, because she’d never met him, the complaint said.
A short time after a jury awarded the multi-million dollar verdict in the matter, Bauer sued White, alleging breach of contract and maintaining that he deserved to share in the legal fees.
In 2011, a judge ruled against Bauer in the suit, the complaint says.
The bar association’s complaint accuses Bauer of lying and deceitfulness in the matter.
Also referred to the Ohio Supreme Court is a complaint against Ralph A. Zuzolo Jr. of the firm of Zuzolo, Zuzolo and Zuzolo. His law address is 700 Youngstown-Warren Road in Niles.
The complaint said Zuzolo, while representing a man in a Social Security disability claim in 2010, failed to acquire important records for the client, failed to advise the client his claim had been denied, later told the client his claim had been approved, then filed the claim again without notifying the client, the complaint says.
A complaint is also filed against Atty. Csaba A. Bodor, whose office is at 8256 East Market Street.
In 2010, Bodor was hired to represent a husband and wife in a bankruptcy case. In 2012, he told the couple he would no longer represent them, the complaint said.
He failed to keep an accounting of the approximately $1,500 the couple paid, failed to return the unused portion of the payments he received and failed to advise the couple properly on their rights, the complaint said.
The final complaint was filed against Atty. David K. Roland, whose office is at 4505 Logan Way in Hubbard.
The complaint involves a divorce proceeding in which Roland is accused of taking $961,426 of his client’s money and placing it in his attorney trust account.
Roland dispersed most of the money into the account of an investment firm at his client’s direction, and that was done to hide the money from her husband to prevent him from getting any of it, the complaint alleges.