30 November 2008

KingCast sees complaints against Ohio attorneys, judges and domestic relations courts over divorce cases result in year-end Supreme Court report.

An old grade school friend of mine reports that things are crazy in Ohio, with major delays not authorized by statute and a host of other alleged improprieties. Fist-fighting Lawyer Vincent Stafford and his brother Joe are up front and center. Many people accuse the pair of bilking clients and running up billables as noted in the linked Plain Dealer story. Read the comments here, too.

One of Northeast Ohio's highest-profile divorce lawyers is accused of lying to a judge, ignoring court orders and harassing the husbands of clients -- complaints that could result in suspension or disbarment.

Vincent Stafford faces a four-count complaint filed with a state commission that oversees grievances against lawyers. Eight years ago the same panel publicly reprimanded Stafford for engaging in a fistfight with an opposing lawyer in a courtroom.

The latest complaint comes as the Ohio Supreme Court is investigating reports of delays caused by lawyers and judges in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court. The high court is expected to release its findings by the end of the year.

Dude was reprimanded on prior occasion:
Cuyahoga County Bar vs. Gonzalez/Stafford (2000), 89 Ohio St.3d 470.] The board found that in January 1998, respondents appeared in the chambers of Magistrate Barbara Porzio for the purpose of negotiations before resuming trial on a domestic relations visitation schedule. During a heated discussion, respondent Gonzalez called respondent Stafford “a piece of shit,” and Stafford responded bycalling Gonzalez “a total asshole.” These remarks and the demeanor of the respondents caused the magistrate to call for a court deputy.

The respondents left the magistrate’s chambers and walked into the courtroom, where they stood chest to chest and continued to shout at each other. The panel concluded that by their conduct respondents violated DR 7-106(C)(6) (in appearing in a professional capacity, a lawyer shall not engage inundignified or discourteous conduct which is degrading to a tribunal) and recommended that each respondent be publicly reprimanded. MOYER, C.J., DOUGLAS, RESNICK, F.E. SWEENEY, PFEIFER, COOKand LUNDBERG STRATTON, JJ., concur.

For more on the delays, read the comments. I'm going to hit some tennis; just watching Connors/Borg on Tennis channel circa 1979 so I'm all inspired and stuff :)

PS: I had a rude attorney try to goad me into hitting him but I didn't take the bait. Luis Alcalde, para. 4.


Christopher King said...

September 04, 2008
Divorce Takes a Long Time in Cuyahoga County CP Court
According to an article from the Plain Dealer online, it takes a long time and almost $1,000 dollars of taxpayer money to get a divorce in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court-more than twice the cost of a divorce in Summit county.

Apparently, these statistics, as reported in the Ohio Supreme Court's latest Ohio Courts Summary, have caused the Chief Justice to order a review of how our local judges handle their divorce, domestic violence, visitation and support cases. In preparation for issuing a report at the end of 2008, Ohio Supreme Court Case Management staffers have been interviewing judges, employees, lawyers and parties about what goes on here at the Courthouse.

In defense of the Domestic Relations Court, Cuyahoga County residents are known for being highly litigious, our DR court is one of the biggest DR courts with one of the largest staffs in the state, and DR Judge Timothy Flannagan has stated that divorce takes so long because so many litigants come to court without attorneys. The Court's Administrator also points out that the local cost of divorce includes a huge price tag of over $1,000,000 for the court's rent and computers.

Christopher King said...

Posted by audiodude13 on 10/15/08 at 8:40AM
The Stafford brothers are the scum of the earth.

They have a long history of pulling the most unethical tactics and making completely outragious demands in the divorces they handle.

They take cases that should have been over quickly and simply, and drag them out for ages (WHILE UPPING THEIR BILLS) and by the time things are finally done, the simple divorce has turned into a bloody, stinking mess, while they waltz away with all the money.

They should both be disbarred.

...and no, I have never been through a divorce, but I have several friends who have, and even other lawyers say that the Staffords are a disgrace to the profession.


Posted by XForGood on 10/15/08 at 11:32AM
This is a liar and a jerk and a horrible person who has a license to steal you blind. Yes, I can state this because I was a client and paid (big time!) for the insight. I hired him to defend me against my husband getting everything in my divorce. Well, this guy is a two-faced dishonest SOB that never told me that I could have been done with the mess and expense long before getting set up before trial. He kept telling me lies and billing me. I never knew where I stood. Never knew how much I owed him. He never intended to do anything until he had taken just about every penny he could from me and devastated me. Finally he said, "Just sign the dam thing". The judges hate him, the court staff hates him, lawyers in town know he is an axxhole and he cost me almost everything. I hope he is ruined. Good Bye and Good Riddance.

Christopher King said...

KingCast now directs your attention to this little gem:


Posted by Chanel10 on 10/15/08 at 1:38PM

If you have have gotten divorced in Cuyahoga and had the Stafford brothers involved, then you know they are not honorable men. It also becomes very clear as you go through the process that the judges in Cuyahoga, especially Judge Flanagan are inappropriately connected to the Stafford brothers. What kind of a Judge allows a lawyer to start every day with a Starbucks in his hand and his feet on his desk? Why is it that you see Flanagan sitting in the Stafford Indians seats all summer long? All of these men have violated the court governing rules for years. It is about time that the Supreme Court begins to not only investigate this court and lawyers but actually do something about it. The taxpayers of Cuyahoga are entitled to a divorce that adhears to the governing rules but have not been given that opportuntiy.


Anonymous said...

The report never came out at the end of the year. You may wish to read these related stories:





Please stay on top of this - local media is not objective.

Christopher King said...

Hot links for a hot story:




http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/monsters-of-misery-court/Content?oid=1494588There you go.

-The KingCaster

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Joseph Stafford defended my husband in our divorce. All the comments and articles you read about him are true and yet he continues to practice law. Stafford filed 6 continuances in my case. Drug out the divorce for 2 1/2 years and cost us $500k. He is a circus act in the court room, screaming and spitting and throwing his arms! He yells at judges, bailiffs, witnesses, and spectators. The spectators tend to freak him out these days as some of the hearing officers in the building have been interviewed in his pending ethics cases. Joe Stafford is nothing more than an over grown bully. He is sloppy in his case preparation and just make up lies if he can't think of anything better to do. My hope is that he get's disbarred. It will greatly improve the system in Cuyahoga Caounty.