Portage County Lawyer Suspended for Lying to Court docket and Police About Customer Affair

The Supreme Court docket of Ohio right now suspended a Portage County legal professional for a single calendar year, with 6 months stayed, for possessing an inappropriate sexual marriage with a client then lying about it to a municipal court docket choose, a law enforcement main, and an opposing legal professional.

In a unanimous per curiam feeling, the Supreme Court found Michael Noble of Ravenna violated the moral regulations governing the conduct of Ohio attorneys. The Office environment of Disciplinary Counsel filed a criticism versus Noble with the Board of Qualified Conduct in June 2021 dependent on actions he took in 2018 by way of 2020.

Lawyer Commences Two-Year Romance With Consumer
In September 2018, a lady discovered in court data as “Jane Doe” employed Noble to tackle her divorce. Inside weeks of assembly, Noble and Doe commenced a sexual romance that continued for pretty much two several years.

Doe’s husband, a law enforcement officer determined in courtroom documents as “D.P.,” employed a divorce lawyer. Soon soon after Noble filed the divorce criticism, D.P.’s lawyer fulfilled with Noble and asked if he was getting an affair with Doe. Noble denied it. The husband’s lawyer recommended if the allegation were being genuine, Noble need to withdraw from the circumstance.

Noble then advised Doe he lied to the opposing lawyer and encouraged her that she should really seek the services of yet another lawyer to handle the divorce. In January 2019, Noble withdrew from the scenario and transferred it to a different law firm. The divorce became ultimate in August 2019.

The board uncovered Noble violated an ethics principles by owning a sexual connection with a client that did not exist prior to the shopper-attorney romance, and by making a bogus statement of product fact in the training course of representing a customer.

Lies Ongoing After Situation Concluded
In 2020, Noble was campaigning for a Portage County Common Pleas Court docket judgeship. He was also attempting to reconcile with his ex-wife, immediately after the two had been divorced for several many years. He did not inform his ex-spouse he was nevertheless courting Doe and did not want the romantic relationship with Doe to grow to be public awareness.

Noble denied to his ex-wife that he was owning a marriage with Doe. He also informed his ex-wife that Doe’s ex-partner was a law enforcement officer who was wrongly accusing Noble and Doe of acquiring an affair. Noble’s ex-spouse contacted D.P. in search of information and facts about Noble and Doe. D.P. showed Noble’s ex-spouse photos indicating Doe and Noble have been even now in a intimate marriage.

Noble’s ex-wife told Noble that if he was staying truthful about not getting concerned with Doe, then they essential to be concerned about D.P.’s conduct. She stated if Noble was not acquiring an affair, then D.P. possibly hoping to manipulate her into believing he was and was seeking to probe her for detrimental information about Noble.

Law enforcement Chief Contacted
Noble and his ex-wife contacted the police main of D.P.’s section and said that D.P. was wrongly accusing Noble of acquiring an affair with Doe. Both of those Noble and his ex-wife submitted a criticism with the chief from D.P. When questioned by the main, Noble denied the affair with Doe. The section then started a official investigation of D.P.

D.P. experienced secretly recorded two encounters he had with Noble and the assembly he experienced with Noble’s ex-wife. He gave the investigator copies of those people recordings. The department cleared D.P. of any wrongdoing, and billed Noble and his ex-wife with misdemeanor counts of falsification and producing fake alarms.

The demand in opposition to Noble was dismissed, and his ex-spouse pleaded responsible to disorderly perform.

Lawyer Lies In the course of Court Hearing
In December 2020, Noble sought to seal the record of his dismissed prison scenario. At a listening to on the matter, Noble testified that he did not lie to the law enforcement chief. Having said that, when confronted by a prosecutor, Noble admitted that he lied in his criticism about D.P.

The experienced carry out board observed that Noble violated various ethical regulations through his encounters with the court docket and the law enforcement main by earning a phony assertion to a court engaging in perform involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation and engaging in carry out that adversely demonstrates on his conditioning to exercise regulation.

During his disciplinary proceedings, Noble expressed regret for his steps and introduced a composed report from a counselor stating that he experienced built considerable progress in remedy. The get-togethers jointly suggested to the board that Noble be suspended for one calendar year with six months stayed with the disorders that he not dedicate further more misconduct and proceed to collaborating in mental-health counseling.

The Court docket adopted the board’s suggestion and also purchased Noble to fork out the prices of the disciplinary proceedings.

2021-1519. Disciplinary Counsel v. Noble, Slip Belief No. 2022-Ohio-2190.

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