The Ohio Supreme Court has handed down stayed suspensions to two education lawyers whose disciplinary case shed light on the ethical obligations of romantically involved attorneys.
The lawyers, Ashleigh Brie Kerr and Thomas Holmes, previously admitted that they shared emails with one another that included confidential client information and work product. The two are also engaged and live together in Aurora, Ohio. In a decision handed down on Thursday, the Ohio high court ruled that the couple’s email exchanges violated the state’s rules of professional conduct and that each deserved a six-month, stayed suspension.
The stayed sanction means, in effect, that neither will have to stop practicing law as long as they don’t run afoul of legal ethics rules again, according to the Ohio Supreme Court. The high court’s finding affirms the sanction that the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct previously recommended in the case.