Law and Order

Jul 7, 2007 Full story: The Plain Dealer 63

Attorney Michelle A. Smithern, 48, of Akron, was arrested Thursday on a grand theft charge. via The Plain Dealer

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chip waikem

AOL

#1 Jul 9, 2007
this attorney will get exactly what she deserves, unless she get a "homie" judge. the action of type should be delt with harshly. bob schultz sends his regards.
hawk99

Hubbard, OH

#2 Jul 14, 2007
Too bad - she is a great lawyer in our area - one of the best. If you have to deal with getting divorced whe was the first one people sought out! I have a feeling this is only the tip of the iceberg with this situation. Surely they will continue to dig and look at others too...somehow knowing of the firm, i can't imagine the buck stops only with her.
sharon1e

Crystal Lake, IL

#3 Nov 1, 2007
FYI...I went to high school in Illinois, with Michelle Smithern and I have to say I'm not surprised of her actions and on the other hand I am. On one good note in her defense, she was a very athletic and intelligent girl.

On the other hand, and one that makes all the difference to me, she was a conceited, self centered, narcissistic, pompus witch with a b.

I can't tell you how many times I said "hi" to her in the halls of school only to be snubbed. At our ten year high school reunion, she bragged about how smart she was, being an attorney and that she felt superior and instead of taking her husbands name, she wanted him to take hers.

I agree with how you could feel she is a criminal because what she did was premeditated. I feel it's important to know the kind of person she was growing up and how this could affect how we turn out as adults. Too bad for her but it's good to know that the snotty ones that don't figure out what really matters in life eventually get a smack in the face. Heck of a wake up call...hmmm.
BSHS 1977

AOL

#4 Nov 6, 2007
That is pretty harsh...do you know the details or just venting on "past anger" or hate for Michelle?????
sharon1e wrote:
FYI...I went to high school in Illinois, with Michelle Smithern and I have to say I'm not surprised of her actions and on the other hand I am. On one good note in her defense, she was a very athletic and intelligent girl.
On the other hand, and one that makes all the difference to me, she was a conceited, self centered, narcissistic, pompus witch with a b.
I can't tell you how many times I said "hi" to her in the halls of school only to be snubbed. At our ten year high school reunion, she bragged about how smart she was, being an attorney and that she felt superior and instead of taking her husbands name, she wanted him to take hers.
I agree with how you could feel she is a criminal because what she did was premeditated. I feel it's important to know the kind of person she was growing up and how this could affect how we turn out as adults. Too bad for her but it's good to know that the snotty ones that don't figure out what really matters in life eventually get a smack in the face. Heck of a wake up call...hmmm.
BGHS 1977

AOL

#5 Nov 6, 2007
Sorry for the typo!
sharon1

Chicago, IL

#6 Mar 25, 2008
If you know something more than what we have found on the web, spill it. I'm a firm believer that you can right a wrong. However, if you had people like her surrounding you for a long period of your life, especially in formative years, it's very difficult to forgive them NOW for what they have done as an adult. I'm disappointed that people as smart as her who could have had a huge following of worshipers (persay) but instead they think so much of themselves, it clouds their judgment to act as a decent human being. It's just that simple. Again, do tell what the true story is all about, if in fact you know. Please don't hide behind my wonderful alma mater. They taught me about being a kind and honest person.
chelle59

Porterville, CA

#7 Jun 25, 2008
I was good friends with Michelle at BGHS and know a lot more about her than what you think you saw at school. I wonder what you would have to say about me? Michelle worked very hard to do well in school and sports. Just as she went straight thru college without taking summers off to complete her degrees. If this is true then there are extenuating circumstances. She loves being a lawyer and while I have no idea if this is true or not I believe in Michelle because of the person I do know. If this happened something happened which was overwhelming. It would have taken something drastic to change such a driven and strong willed smart person. Michelle was and is a loving and caring parent, friend, and person.
So if your feelings were hurt in high school I apologize I know that feeling as well. But I have kept in contact with Michelle for the 30 years since high school and find that she is still one of my truest friends. I will stand by her thru thick and thin.
divor07

Green Lane, PA

#8 Jul 11, 2008
Does anyone know what eventually happened with this case? I was a client of Michelle's for a period before this happened, and switched lawyers since I sensed she was too distracted to effectively deal with my case, now I know why. Oddly enough, I knew Jennifer Hovinen of St. Vincent Hospital socially (who with her husband just committed suicide this week due to an investigation for embezellment) and I thought about Michelle. Jennifer was a very intelligent, driven woman who felt she was being shorted at St. Vincent because they would not give her a Vice President title.... truely tragic.
ginger

Erie, PA

#9 Jul 12, 2008
Michelle is set to go to trial at the end of the month - judge indicated no more delays.
courtwatcher

Park Ridge, NJ

#10 Jul 25, 2008
Michelle Smithern is pleading guilty 7/29/08.
ginger

Erie, PA

#11 Jul 29, 2008
what happened today courtwatcher
courtwatcher

Park Ridge, NJ

#12 Jul 29, 2008
I don't know what happened today. I didn't get a chance to stop into the hearing.

But on 7/25/08 Michelle's attorney filed a motion for a Drug Intervention in Lieu of Conviction. Which is total crap. Michelle doesn't have a drug problem - her problem is more like Vegas.

I don't know if the Judge bought it or not. If he did my confidence in the justice system will be shattered. Michelle has caused a lot of damage to many people. Her firm has recovered some of the money she stole through the insurance company (subject to subrogation), but while she was churning the files to cover the money she stole, her clients and the opposition had to pay a lot of money for her lack of morales.

I can tell you (hearsay of course) that she did stroll into the courthouse just before !0:00am professionally dressed and apparently without a care in the world. Insiders say she has no remorse and that she feels she has done nothing wrong.

Given the length of this process and the apparent ruse of a drug problem - Michelle's strategy is clear - draw out the process, plead guilty under a deal for a drug intervention in lieu of conviction - which means she is putting forth that the drugs made her do it and if she gets help she won't re-offend and sentencing will be put off for about a year - go to rehab - and in one year the case will be dismissed and sealed and she will go on as if nothing happened. Always the gambler - Nobody said she was dumb - the only dumb people are the ones who trusted her in the first place.

I'll post more as I learn more...
ex-teammate

Cleveland, OH

#13 Jul 30, 2008
Very sad. She apparently withdrew the drug intervention attempt, and plead yesterday to a lesser charge for theft (Felony class 4 >$5000 and <$100,000). Sentencing is in September. Apparently there have been forclosure motions for her house as well. Think about the impact on her kids - it must be very embarrassing.
courtwatcher

Park Ridge, NJ

#14 Jul 30, 2008
Ex-teammate's post is correct. Michelle withdrew her drug intervention attempt and plead guilty to a 4th degree felony.

No sympathy here - think about the impact of the people who she stole from - I am not just talking about the firm (they got their money back through the insurance). I am talking about the clients files she churned to cover for the stolen money. These people were going through divorces and very vulnerable emotionally and ended up paying big money for needless discovery and poor advice - Not only that but her actions had a ripple effect. The ex-spouses of her clients had to pay a lot of money in response to the prolonged discovery and an extended divorce. In a sense she also stole time and emotional well being from these people to satisfy her greed.
ginger

Erie, PA

#15 Jul 31, 2008
I do not condone what she did. I can't think of anyone who would condone that behavior. However, that being said, I definately have sympathy for the people she hurt including her clients and especially her family. Her family did not ask for this. Whatever the problem is, I hope she gets help for it.
Honest Lawyer

Akron, OH

#16 Jul 31, 2008
Motion for treatment in lieu of conviction was withdrawn and she pled guilty to lesser included offense of theft, 4th degree felony. Sentencing is September 10 at 9:30 am before visiting judge Judge Curran. She could get probation. Judge has asked for a PSI (presentence investigation) with a victim impact statement. If you feel you are a victim you should call the summit county probation department. I am a little surprised the local paper has made no mention of the plea.
courtwatcher

Park Ridge, NJ

#17 Jul 31, 2008
I couldn't agree more with the HonestLawyer. Make a difference -send a message.

Michelle committed a serious crime, breached her fiduciary duty, and has hurt a lot of people in doing so. Probation should not be an option. If you are a victim or have been impacted by Michelle Smithern's willful disregard for the integrity of the legal profession, contact the Summit County Probation Department and let your voice be heard.

Summit County Adult Probation Department
53 University Avenue
Akron OH, 44308
divor07

United States

#18 Aug 4, 2008
I called the Summit County Probation Department today. They had some difficulty finding the case assignment, so I thought I would post it here in case anyone else needs it.

The officer who has been assigned to do the PSI is Kelly Anderson. I left a voice mail asking her to return my call and have yet to speak with her, but I did draft a four page letter while I was waiting around the phone ... I have a pretty harrowing story to tell.
Kaiser Socia

Akron, OH

#19 Aug 8, 2008
"Negligent & full of horrible advice," sums her up in my opinion.

Long drawn out divorce followed by a civil suit as a result of her sloppy ways.

Opinions on her actions during the 'questionable' period will be voiced to:

Kelly Anderson @
Summit County Adult Probation Department
53 University Avenue
Akron OH, 44308

Orange will be a good color to wear to a Halloween party in the joint.

KS
Ohio Girl

Park Ridge, NJ

#20 Aug 8, 2008
Kaiser Socia - it sounds like you had a hard time with Michelle Smithern. What was the civil case about?

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