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Judged Blog
Bipolar Lawyer Suspended for Two Years

How is an attorney to protect the rights and life of a client if he can’t get his own life in order? Sterling Everard Gill II had to face this conundrum after the Ohio Supreme Court suspended him for two years for professional misconduct. Among other offenses, he appeared to court hours late, failed to properly file a notice of appeal and merits brief in one of his cases, and during a court hearing was found to be under the influence of alcohol.

The Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline recommended that he be suspended indefinitely, but in light of his own attorney, Kenneth R. Donchatz, who worked to show that Gill was struggling with bipolar disorder, compounded with the promise that he would take his medication, continue psychotherapy, and participate in Alcoholics Anonymous, he was voted 4-3 by the Supreme Court to only have his license suspended for two years, or one year if he manages his bipolar disorder and stays sober.

This at least is a sigh of relief for the man who was so tried by his personal demons. Having bipolar disorder or other psychiatric illnesses is difficult for anybody, but for somebody in a high responsibility position such as attorney or doctor, it becomes especially difficult.


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