642 N.E.2d 79 (Ohio Bd.Unauth.Prac. 1994), UPL-93-3, Cleveland Bar Assn. v. Yurich

Docket Nº:UPL-93-3.
Citation:642 N.E.2d 79, 66 Ohio Misc.2d 22
Opinion Judge:OHN W. WADDY, Jr., Chairman.
Party Name:CLEVELAND BAR ASSOCIATION v. YURICH et al.
Attorney:Robert R. Yurich, Cleveland, for respondents., JOHN W. WADDY, Jr., Chairman. Mary L. Cibella, Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue and David A. Kutik, Cleveland, for relator. Robert R. Yurich, Cleveland, for respondents.
Case Date:September 19, 1994
Court:Ohio Board of Commissioners on the Unauthorized Practice of Law
 
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Page 79

642 N.E.2d 79 (Ohio Bd.Unauth.Prac. 1994)

66 Ohio Misc.2d 22

CLEVELAND BAR ASSOCIATION

v.

YURICH et al.

No. UPL-93-3.

Ohio Board of Commissioners on the Unauthorized Practice of Law.

September 19, 1994

Page 80

Mary L. Cibella, Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue and David A. Kutik, Cleveland, for relator.

Robert R. Yurich, Cleveland, for respondents.

JOHN W. WADDY, Jr., Chairman.

This matter came on for an evidentiary hearing before the Board of Commissioners on the Unauthorized Practice of Law ("board") on October 4, 1993 in [66 Ohio Misc.2d 23] Columbus, Ohio, on the formal complaint filed April 29, 1993. Members of the board present and participating in this decision were John W. Waddy, Jr., Chairman, Paul M. Greenberger, Jack R. Baker, Craig D. Barclay, and Paul D. Frankel.

Relator Cleveland Bar Association was represented by Mary L. Cibella, Cleveland, Ohio, and David A. Kutik of Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue, Cleveland, Ohio. Respondent Robert R. Yurich represented himself and the other respondents, to wit: Dennis Yurich, Yurich and Associates, and Guardian Group.

In its complaint, relator alleges that respondents Dennis Yurich, Yurich and Associates (also known as "Yurich Associates" and "Yurich & Associates") and Guardian Group are not licensed or otherwise authorized to practice law in the state of Ohio and that respondent Robert R. Yurich is an attorney at law licensed and authorized to practice law in the state of Ohio. These allegations were admitted by respondents in their answer, which was filed herein on May 24, 1993. Relator also alleges that respondents Dennis Yurich, Yurich and Associates, and Guardian Group engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by, among other things, rendering legal advice to Ohio residents concerning the need and advisability of various types of trusts; preparing trust documents for Ohio residents; and charging and collecting fees from Ohio residents in exchange for legal services rendered to or on behalf of those individuals. The complaint also alleged that respondent Robert R. Yurich "instigated, assisted, aided and encouraged" the other respondents to engage in the unauthorized practice of law. In essence, relator avers that respondent Robert R. Yurich aided and abetted the other respondents in the unauthorized practice of law.

In their answer, the respondents deny that respondents Dennis Yurich, Yurich and Associates, and Guardian Group had ever engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. Respondents also deny that Robert R. Yurich had ever aided or abetted the other respondents to engage in the unauthorized practice of law.

On May 26, 1993, the parties filed herein a document entitled "Stipulation of Facts and Waiver of Notice and Hearing." By this document, the parties stipulated certain facts and waived their respective rights to an evidentiary hearing before the board. The parties stipulated 1 that:

"1. The Relator is an association whose members include attorneys-at-law, most of whom are practicing in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. [66 Ohio Misc.2d 24]

"2. Respondent Robert Yurich is an attorney at law licensed to practice in the State of Ohio.

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"3. Respondent Dennis Yurich is an individual and is not licensed or otherwise authorized to practice law in the State of Ohio.

"4. Respondent Yurich & Associates is or was a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Ohio. With the assistance of Respondent Robert Yurich, Yurich & Associates was formed by Respondent Dennis Yurich, who was also a director, officer and stockholder of that corporation. Respondent Yurich & Associates was not licensed or otherwise authorized to practice law in the State of Ohio.

"5. Respondent Guardian Group is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Ohio. Respondent Guardian Group is a successor to Respondent Yurich & Associates through a name change or otherwise. Respondent Guardian Group is not licensed or otherwise authorized to practice law in the State of Ohio.

"6. Respondents Dennis Yurich, Yurich & Associates and Guardian Group participated in an effort to market 'living trusts' which would be prepared, at least in part, by Respondent Robert Yurich. As part of this effort, Respondent Dennis Yurich, through Respondents Yurich & Associates and Guardian Group, hired 'representatives,' many of whom were not licensed or otherwise authorized to practice law in the State of Ohio. Respondents Dennis Yurich, Yurich & Associates and Guardian Group, or representatives hired by them, organized seminars to explain the alleged benefits of 'living trusts.' Respondent Robert Yurich was the principal speaker at these seminars. Persons attending these seminars were asked to indicate whether they would want a 'consultation' regarding 'living trusts.' Following the 'leads' procured through these seminars or procured otherwise, the representatives of Respondents Yurich & Associates and Guardian Group would:

"a. provide advice to persons regarding the merits of a 'living trust' for those persons' specific circumstances;

"b. pursuant to forms and guidelines developed by Respondents Robert Yurich and Dennis Yurich collect information to be used to prepare a 'living trust' document; and

"c. collect checks for Respondents Yurich & Associates and Guardian Group and, on occasion, for Respondent Robert Yurich.

"7. The information and monies collected by the representatives of Respondents Yurich & Associates and Guardian Group were sent to Respondents Robert Yurich and Dennis Yurich who developed, respectively, (a) 'living trust' and other legal forms and (b) computer programs to generate these forms for specific [66 Ohio Misc.2d 25] individuals. Upon receiving the client information collected by the representatives, Respondents Dennis Yurich, Yurich & Associates or Guardian Group would enter the data in a computer and generate 'living trusts' and other legal documents for individuals residing in the State of Ohio. These documents would then be reviewed by Respondent Robert Yurich. In a majority of instances, Respondent Robert Yurich personally met with individuals after the documents were prepared and assisted the individuals with the execution of the documents. On a few occasions, however, Respondent Robert Yurich did not personally meet with the individuals; all personal dealings with the individuals (including execution of the documents) were handled by representatives of Respondents Yurich & Associates or Guardian Group.

"8. Relator believes that: (a) The activities of Respondents Dennis Yurich, Yurich & Associates and Guardian Group constitute the unauthorized practice of law through, inter alia, providing legal advice and preparing legal documents; (b) Respondent Robert Yurich instigated, assisted, aided and encouraged this unauthorized practice of law; and (c) Respondents will continue to engage in or...

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