A Manhattan lawyer has been suspended for three months for soliciting and accepting a $50,000 loan from a former client in 2002 and for failing to file retainer agreements in 59 cases over a period of years. The attorney, John M. Ioannou, obtained the loan from Vartan Harutunian, an ex-police detective who retained Mr. Ioannou to represent him in a personal injury suit stemming from a motorcycle accident. Mr. Harutunian won a $4.5 million settlement in 2001.
In July 2002, Mr. Harutunian called Mr. Ioannou to ask for advice about how to deal with a demand for reimbursement from his medical insurer. Mr. Ioannou advised him to negotiate with the insurer but was otherwise not involved with the matter. Two weeks later, he asked for the loan.
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