A lawyer who is also owner and general counsel of a consulting firm was publicly reprimanded by the Ohio Supreme Court this month for compensating a consultant who made referrals to his law firm.
Ronald Mason is the principal of Mason Law Firm Co. in Dublin, Ohio. Its website shows that it is a four-attorney firm primarily representing management and employers in labor, employment, OSHA and construction matters. Read the opinion (pdf).
Court documents said Mason is also owner and general counsel of Midwest Management Consultants Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary and ancillary business to Mason Law. It provides OSHA and employment consulting services to employers. Mason Law and Midwest Management share an office in Dublin.
Mason paid one of his consultants nearly $70,000 above his normal compensation for referring eight clients to Mason Law in 2007, court documents said. Those clients paid $487,000 in legal fees to Mason Law. Mason stopped the referral payments in 2008, the court said.
Mason, who didn't return calls for comment, signed a consent agreement that says he violated the rule of professional conduct that prohibits a lawyer from giving anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer's services.
In recommending only the public sanction, a legal panel said it considered several mitigating factors, including that Mason had no prior disciplinary record, provided full disclosure during the investigation and made a timely effort to rectify the misconduct.