The Ohio Board of Professional Conduct has recommended the Ohio Supreme Court impose a one-year license suspension — with the final six months stayed — against a former Lorain County attorney for violations of four rules of conduct.
According to a Board of Professional Conduct hearing of panel, Samir George Hadeed violated rules of professional conduct by charging or collecting a clearly excessive fee; charging a fee without notifying his client of the right to a full or partial refund if the representation was not completed; making a false statement during a disciplinary investigation and failing to disclose facts to a disciplinary investigator in response to a demand for information.
As part of a “consent-to-discipline” agreement, Hadeed agreed to the proposed discipline, with the final order to be handed down by the Ohio Supreme Court.
In addition to the one-year suspension of his license, Hadeed — whose last known address was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — also agreed to refund $4,750 to his client, half of what was paid for his representation, within 60 days of a final disciplinary order by the Ohio Supreme Court, according to the Board of Professional Conduct.
The board noted that Hadeed, who had no prior disciplinary record, cooperated with investigators and acknowledged wrongdoing. He also agreed to pay the cost of the disciplinary proceedings.
According to the disciplinary complaint, Hadeed charged a flat $15,000 fee to represent Shaundale Brown in a criminal matter. Brown paid Hadeed $9,500 before Hadeed withdrew as his attorney.
Hadeed did not refund any of Brown’s money despite not seeing the case to its conclusion, and Brown filed a grievance against Hadeed in January 2018, seeking a partial refund.
During the investigation, Hadeed admitted faking a letter laying out the flat fee to Brown. Hadeed dated the letter as being created in December 2015, but Brown denied receiving the letter. Hadeed later admitted he faked the letter and submitted it to investigators after the grievance was filed, according to board documents.
Hadeed also provided the disciplinary board with 28 letters of support — some of which came from individuals who did not know about the grievance filed against Hadeed, investigators discovered.