Eric C. Cotton


Theoretically, a practicing attorney in Ohio must tailor his conduct to meet certain minimum professional standards adopted by the Ohio Supreme Court. In reality however, an attorney suddenly may find himself confronted with a disciplinary proceeding because of judicial inconsistency and ambiguity within the Code of Professional Responsibility. In Mahoning County Bar Ass 'n v. Theofilos, the Ohio Supreme Court faced an issue representative of "borderline" conduct. Unfortunately, the court sidestepped this timely opportunity to provide some much-needed guidance for the legal profession. In Theofilos, the attorney knew a client only four months before drafting a will for her which named the attorney and his son as beneficiaries. Subsequently, the attorney received a one year suspension.