2 area attys. suspended

Two area attorneys had their law license suspended on Monday for failing to answer complaints investigated by the bar associations in Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

Boardman attorney Frank N. Fagnano and former Niles attorney Michael D. Joseph both had their law licenses suspended on Monday for failing to respond to complaints made about their conduct as attorneys.

Fagnano, according to records, took $400 from a client who wanted assistance in removing a weapons disability he obtained after a domestic violence conviction. Fagnano, according to disciplinary records, never contacted the man or returned calls until he filed a grievance against him.

Fagnano met with the man and agreed to return the $400 and complete the legal work. In an agreement Fagnano drew up he asked the man to agree to drop the grievance and would refrain from filing other grievances against him, a violation of the attorney professional code of conduct.

Joseph, disciplinary records say, took a $1,250 retainer from a woman in a divorce case, showed up for court twice and never showed up again for any other hearings.

The woman said she tried to contact Joseph and learned he moved to North Carolina. Joseph eventually contacted the woman and told her he would attend her final divorce hearing, but never showed.

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