Oregon trial lawyer accused of pocketing settlement funds

Chris Rizo Aug. 13, 2008, 2:13pm

SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline)-A plaintiffs' attorney in Oregon is accused of pocketing thousands of dollars from settlements he won for clients, a published report said.

The Oregon State Bar has filed ethics charges with the state Supreme Court against Portland attorney Michael Shinn.

He is accused, among other ethical lapses, of stiffing 52-year-old Eric Rhodes of King City, Ore., out of the $40,000 he was awarded after a 2004 car crash that left his neck broken in two places, The (Portland) Oregonian reported Wednesday.

"I hope against hope that this man will stop fleecing others," Rhodes told the newspaper. "Because all my money is gone."

A three-member disciplinary panel will consider what punishment, if any, Shinn should face. He could be disbarred. The Oregon State Bar is seeking to have Shinn's license suspended pending the outcome of the case.

Shinn is also accused of failing to pay as many as 15 other clients. He either paid clients woefully late or not at all, the Bar says.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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