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Dingwell, Watson elected to Board of Professional Conduct

David L. Dingwell

Sanford E. Watson II

Legal News Reporter

Published: January 11, 2017

The Ohio Board of Professional Conduct will have two new leaders at the helm in 2017.

Commissioner David L. Dingwell was selected by the board to serve as chair, replacing previous board chair Paul M. De Marco from Cincinnati.

Commissioner Sanford E. Watson II is the new vice chair, replacing William J. Novak of Cleveland, the Ohio Supreme Court’s Office of Public Information recently announced.

Dingwell has been a board member since 2012. He has chaired one of the board’s two probable cause panels.

A graduate of the University of Akron School of Law, he is a partner in the Canton firm of Tzangas, Plakas Mannos. His practice focuses on litigation, probate and estate planning, as well as employment law.

Dingwell is a former president of the Stark County Bar Association. He also is a past chair of the association’s certified grievance committee.

“Board service is important to me personally,” said Dingwell. “I’ve been involved in the disciplinary process since the late `90s. It’s an area that is very important to the profession.”

Dingwell added that he is already hoping to be re-appointed to a third term once his current three-year term ends.

“It’s very rewarding,” he said of serving on the Board of Professional Conduct. “Even though everybody may not agree with our recommendations, it’s important to give back.”

Watson was first appointed to the board in 2011 and has chaired its Advisory Opinion Committee since 2015.

Watson said he considers it an honor to be named vice chair.

“We have an obligation and a duty to protect the public, and an obligation and a duty to respond and address ethical issues with respect to the profession of law in Ohio,” he said. “I think every lawyer has a duty to make sure they have an opportunity to serve the profession. I’m happy my firm supports me in this endeavor. This takes time away from my practice.”

Watson is a partner with the Cleveland firm of Tucker Ellis. He specializes in business litigation, products liability and public law.

A graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, Watson previously served as chief prosecutor and director of public safety for the city of Cleveland. He is also a past president of the Norman S. Minor Bar Association.

Board members meet in Columbus approximately four or five times a year as a group, in addition to hearing cases in panels of three. Other responsibilities include reviewing individual cases and drafting advisory opinions.

Both De Marco and Novak are leaving the board after nine years.