Legal Ethics

Ohio Lawyer Suspended for Billing More than 24 Hours in a Day

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An Ohio lawyer has been suspended for overbilling local courts for her representation of poor clients, submitting bills for more than 24 hours a day on three different occasions.

The lawyer, Kristin Ann Stahlbush of Toledo, will be suspended for two years, with the second year stayed if she completes a one-year probationary period, the Legal Profession Blog reports.

According to an Ohio Supreme Court opinion (PDF) issued Tuesday, Stahlbush billed the courts in Lucas County for more than 24 hours a day on at least three different days, and more than 20 hours a day on five other occasions.

The court said Stahlbush failed to keep adequate records of the hours she worked, submitted inflated fee requests, and sometimes “merely guessed at the time she had spent on a case.” She had no prior discipline, however, and was known as a competent and hardworking lawyer.

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