March 28th, 2013
The potential fallout for an individual trustee who has breached a fiduciary duty can extend beyond a judgment against him or her. In In re Application of Wiseman, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that a bar applicant who “engaged in prohibited self-dealing while serving as the fiduciary of a trust” would not be admitted to the state bar.
Although the Ohio Supreme Court identified additional “underlying improprieties” that prohibited the applicant’s admission to the bar, the court separately identified “probate litigation” and “breach of fiduciary duties as trustee of life insurance trust” as several of the grounds for disapproving the applicant’s application for admission to the state bar. Let’s take a brief look at these two issues which might give already-licensed attorneys some pause about serving as fiduciaries. Because if it’s grounds for denial of admission to the state bar, can the same conduct be grounds for reprimand, censure, suspension or disbarment? (more…)