Ohio Supreme Court Hears Case of Removed Judge
By Anne Yeager | October 24, 2017
The Ohio Supreme Court will decide whether a former Cuyahoga Common Pleas judge should be disbarred from practicing law for life.
Former Judge Lance Mason was sentenced to 24 months in prison for beating his wife while driving his car in August 2014.
The couple's children were in the backseat.
"This was not a simple loss of temper, a simple strike at his wife," said Kelly Heile, an attorney for the Ohio State Bar Association, which investigated the charges against Mason. "This was repeated striking at her in the car as they drove down the road with disregard for his two young children who were strapped in their car seats in the back seat."
As Mason sat in the audience while justices questioned his fate, his attorney pleaded for leniency.
"He had a breakdown," said Richard Alkire, Mason's attorney. "What happened was the culmination of personal strife and stress that occurred in the year 2014."
Mason is asking the high court for a lesser punishment; indefinite suspension.
He claims that the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct failed to take 36 letters of support from his former colleagues into consideration.
The panel recommends Mason's disbarment.
The Ohio Supreme Court will consider the case over the coming months.