The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday permanently disbarred a Lima, Ohio, lawyer who had gambled away funds entrusted to him.
Stephen L. Becker was disbarred for misappropriating funds as guardian for his nephew, caretaker for his aunt, and executor of his aunt’s estate following her death. He also misappropriated funds from other clients.
In the high court’s unanimous decision, Justice Paul Pfeifer wrote that Mr. Becker clearly had a gambling addiction but had failed to seek help. Justice Pfeifer said the purpose of the disciplinary process “is not to punish the offender but to protect the public from lawyers who are unworthy of the trust and confidence essential to the attorney-client relationship.”