Bennett, who is based in Cincinnati but also practices in Dayton's U.S. District and Montgomery County Common Pleas courts, was suspended for four violations of the rules governing Ohio attorneys' conduct, according to a press release.
The Supreme Court voted 4-3 for the one-year suspension. The Board of Professional Conduct recommended a six-month suspension for conduct stemming from the representation of one client.
The majority opinion said the longer sentence came because this was Bennett's second suspension for actions including dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
Bennett was indefinitely suspended in 2010 based on a 2007 federal conviction for which he received a two-year prison sentence.
The latest case involved Bennett accepting money from the family of John Kelley, who was convicted in January 2014 on two counts of attempted murder and four counts of felonious assault and sentenced to 25 years. An appellate court upheld the conviction in December 2014 and allowed an appeal by Feb. 2, 2015. Court documents show Bennett misrepresented why he missed the deadline.
Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Terrence O’Donnell, Patrick F. Fischer and Mary DeGenaro voted for the longer suspension. Justices Sharon L. Kennedy, Judith L. French and R. Patrick DeWine dissented without a written opinion. Those justices indicated they would have suspended Bennett for six months.
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