Attorney resigns license

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Days before a hearing about alleged ethics violations, a longtime Ironton attorney resigned her law license.

Karen Osmond, assistant disciplinary counsel with the Supreme Court of Ohio, said Carol Jean Hampton resigned her license Friday with the Office of Attorney Services.

“She signed a form resigning her license,” Osmond said. “The hearing is stayed until it goes through. The form has to be accepted.”

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Osmond said the process could take one to two months to be completed.

Hampton sent a press release to The Tribune, dated May 6, about the resignation:

“Attorney Carol Jean Hampton is happy to announce her retirement from the practice of law after 45 years of practice. Ms. Hampton was admitted to the practice of law on May 3, 1969, after graduating from The Salmon P. Chase College of Law. A graduate of Marshall University, Ms. Hampton focused her practice in Ironton at her firm, Hampton and Destocki Co. LPA, specializing in Social Security disability claims and bankruptcy, with Paul E. Destocki, her husband of 45 years, who passed away Dec. 2, 2013.

Ms. Hampton served as a United States Bankruptcy Trustee for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division at Cincinnati, for Lawrence County until 1990. In addition to practicing law, Carol Jean would sit as Ironton Municipal Judge in the absence of the Hon. O. Clark Collins Jr.

She has proudly supported her community, as she and her sisters, Rosemary Mitchell and Beverly Nance, donated the Ro-Na Theater to the City of Ironton, and she has been on the Democratic Central Committee for more than 35 years.

Ms. Hampton plans to spend her retirement splitting time between Ironton and Myrtle Beach with her sons, Paul II and Chris, as well as continuing to serve as the president of her Sunday school class at Central Christian Church and her community.”

Hampton was scheduled to face a three-member panel of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline Tuesday in regard to allegations of ethics violations that were outlined in a 29-page complaint filed in April 2013.

Counts in the complaint involved former clients of Hampton who hired the woman to handle their child support, probate, Social Security or bankruptcy cases, as well as someone who claimed Hampton tried to take her home as collateral. Another complainant claimed Hampton took her retirement funds without permission.

According to the Office of Attorney Services, to retire or resign from the practice of law, an attorney must file an application with the office, which includes two parts. The application consists of an affidavit and a written waiver that authorizes the disciplinary counsel to disclose to the Supreme Court otherwise confidential information about any disciplinary grievances pending against the attorney.

If disciplinary counsel recommends that the application be accepted, the report will indicate whether the attorney should be designated as “retired” or “resigned, with disciplinary action pending.”

If the Supreme Court accepts an application as a resignation from the practice of law, the court will order that the attorney’s registration record be marked as “resigned, with disciplinary action pending.” The designation “resigned, with disciplinary action pending” alerts the public that, but for the resignation, the attorney could have been subject to disciplinary sanctions.

According to the Office of Attorney Services, the retirement or resignation from the practice of law is final and irrevocable once accepted by the Supreme Court.