WARREN - A local lawyer turned doctor was recently slapped with the suspension of her law license after failing to respond to a 12-count grievance filed by the disciplinary arm of the Ohio Supreme Court.
Dr. Toni Alice Marcheskie was given an interim suspension and ordered to stop practicing law earlier in August, according to the court and the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, which certified the 12 complaints - some of them originating with the Trumbull County Bar Association.
The Ohio State Medical Board confirmed that Marcheskie is licensed as a medical doctor in training.
The complaints with the law practice include a grievance filed in January 2004 by Domestic Relations Judge Pamela Rintala and former Judge Richard James, who jointly reported that Marcheskie failed to show up for court hearings, failed to notify her clients she wouldn't be in court and failed to file for a continuance in at least seven cases during that time period.
In another domestic case, Marcheskie - an unsuccessful candidate for Central District Court during a three-way race in 1996 - failed to file with the court important paperwork that showed that a client in a divorce case used $95,000 in premarital separate property to make home improvements and had a $40,000 life insurance policy that was cashed in.
The neglect resulted in the man having to share $135,000 with his former spouse, who wasn't actually entitled to the money.
The client recouped some of the money in a separate malpractice claim against Marcheskie, a former nurse who started practicing law in 1982.
The complaint also states that Marcheskie has most recently not been registered as an attorney and was given a continuing legal education suspension in December 2003 and an attorney registration suspension in December 2005.
In another complaint, Marcheskie took a $500 retainer from a client to file adversary action in bankruptcy court. The filing never took place and the woman absorbed $17,000 in credit card debt from her former spouse.
In September 2000, according to the complaint, Marcheskie ignored a client in a personal injury case instead of discussing whether to fight a motion to have the case thrown out on a summary judgment. The client made more than 20 calls to Marcheskie to find out why the case was thrown out and only after she was confronted by an investigator admitted ''she had no plausible defense to the motion.''
The Supreme Court made repeated attempts to contact Marcheskie at an address in Cortland. But according to current Warren City zoning records, Marcheskie's husband, Richard Duke Harbison of Easton, Pa., purchased property at the corner of East Market Street and Country Club Drive S.E.