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Texas Attorney's License Suspended

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2011-2034.  Disciplinary Counsel v. Trieu, Slip Opinion No. 2012-Ohio-2714.
On Certified Report by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, No. 11-067.  Vinh Chi Trieu, Attorney Registration No. 0076557, is indefinitely suspended from the practice of law in Ohio.
O'Connor, C.J., and Pfeifer, Lundberg Stratton, O'Donnell, Lanzinger, Cupp, and McGee Brown, JJ., concur.
Opinion: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2012/2012-Ohio-2714.pdf

(June 20, 2012) The Supreme Court of Ohio today imposed an indefinite license suspension against attorney Vinh Chi Trieu, who resides in Houston, Texas, but is licensed to practice law in Ohio. Because he is not licensed to practice in the state courts of Texas, Trieu has limited his practice there to federal immigration cases.

In a 7-0 per curiam decision announced today, the court adopted findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline that Trieu admitted accepting retainers from six clients in immigration cases but concealing those clients from his employer and keeping more than $20,000 he received from them for his own use. Trieu also admitted that he altered one of the retainer checks to add himself as a payee, lied to two clients about the status of their cases, and in several cases failed to earn the full fees he had collected but did not refund the unearned portions of the retainers to the clients.

Trieu also admitted that he took four cash advances against a law-firm credit card and used the funds for personal expenses unrelated to any client representation, but falsely attributed those charges to a client in his expense reports.

The court adopted the board’s conclusion that Trieu’s conduct violated the Texas attorney discipline rules that prohibit conduct involving fraud, deceit or misrepresentation and neglect of an entrusted legal matter, and that require an attorney to promptly refund any unearned legal fees to a client upon termination of  the lawyer’s representation.  

Pursuant to its authority over all attorneys admitted to practice in this state, the court indefinitely suspended Trieu from the practice of law in Ohio.

Contacts
Jonathan E. Coughlan, 614.461.0256, for the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Vinh Chi Trieu, pro se: no telephone contact information available.