Windsor lawyer has his license revoked by bar court

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Windsor lawyer Claudio Martini has had his license revoked in a final decision by the Ontario Bar Tribunal.

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The decision ends a long process involving Martini dating back to April 2015, when he first had his license suspended for a variety of actions considered by the court to be “professional misconduct”.

The court has now ruled in an order issued last week that “the local attorney’s license to practice law is revoked, effective immediately.”

Allegations against Martini verified by the court included the longtime attorney borrowing money from clients improperly, failing to advance actions on their behalf, misleading clients, their actions remained pending and that he “had misappropriated funds held in trust and subject to an escrow agreement”.

Winners usually don’t appeal

Martini also faced further disciplinary action after he tried to continue providing legal services while his license was suspended by the bar tribunal.

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Windsor solicitor Claudio Martini is pictured in his office in Windsor, Tuesday March 8, 2011.
Windsor solicitor Claudio Martini is pictured in his office in Windsor, Tuesday March 8, 2011. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

Martini’s attorney has indicated that his client has no intention of appealing the bar tribunal’s final decision.

“Mr. Martini never sought to continue practicing law and was always prepared to accept the revocation of his license to practice,” said Gavin Tighe of Toronto law firm Gardiner Roberts.

“Mr. Martini readily acknowledged the breach of escrow terms that was the primary basis for the removal from day one of what is now nearly a decade-long odyssey with the (bar).

What Martini disagreed with was the allegation “that he stole funds from clients,” his lawyer said.

“It was this issue that was at the heart of the battle in the (bar) court,” Tighe said.

Despite the court’s finding Martini embezzled a client’s money, “he never stole a client’s money,” said his lawyer, who described any descriptions in this regard as “allegations salacious” from a former client that were “completely fake and made by this client”.

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“We obviously have no intention of appealing a decision that ruled in favor of our client on the one issue he actually disputed,” Tighe said. “Winners don’t usually appeal.”

More than a year ago, Martini, along with fellow Windsor lawyer and former legal partner Maria Marusic, filed a joint appeal of their pending suspensions with the Ontario Law Society Tribunal, which led to a lengthy hearing that spanned multiple dates throughout 2021.

But a court ruling in May determined that both attorneys should remain suspended pending final court decisions on their licensing.

The two had been legal partners since 2000, then in 2001 also became romantic partners, according to the bar association’s findings.

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Marusic was initially cleared by the court in 2015 to continue her practice as a lawyer with several restrictions in place after testifying under oath to end her personal relationship with Martini due to her alleged improper financial actions.

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Within months, however, Marusic also had her license suspended indefinitely after the bar learned through emails between the pair that she had been “misled” by Marusic about her ongoing relationship with Martini and dismissed him. further assisted in continuing to provide legal services despite his suspension. “and in doing so, she failed to conduct herself with integrity.”

There is no final court ruling yet on Marusic’s pending license suspension.

In late 2021, while last year’s joint appeal hearing by the couple was underway, they also got married, according to findings presented by the court.

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