Urbana lawyer suspended by Ohio Supreme Court for legal malpractice


An Urbana attorney’s license has been indefinitely suspended by the Ohio Supreme Court after he was found guilty of selling a client’s land to pay legal fees.

Christopher R. Bucio pleaded to one count of unauthorized use of property, which is a fourth-degree felony. He was also sentenced to five years of community control and was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, according to the Ohio Supreme Court . He will not be allowed to re-apply until the control ends.

RELATED : Urbana’s Jordan optimistic tax reform will move forward

Linda Heuker was arrested in August 2010 after marijuana was found growing in the basement of her residence in Sidney. She met Bucio at the Shelby County jail and told him she did not have money to pay his fees but was willing to sell some land to make payment.

Heuker transferred the land to Bucio under his advisement believing Bucio would sell the land, take out his fees and give her the remaining balance. The attorney was able to negotiate a plea agreement after her arrest, and Heuker was charged and later pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony. She was then released from jail.

Her land sold for $135,000. The real estate company received $127,767 from the sale after paying various expenses and a court judgment. That money was then transferred to Bucio.

Heuker tried numerous times to get in touch with Bucio and his staff in 2011 about the remaining money from the sale. She said several appointments were cancelled, and she was later told “she was not entitled to any portion of the sale proceeds because he agreed to accept the land as a flat fee for his representation.”

He admitted he spent about 40 hours on her case, which would equal about $9,000 if he charged his standard rate.

The next year, Heuker filed a legal malpractice lawsuit against Bucio, but it was dismissed. Then the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation was asked to look over the agreement between the attorney and client after the Shelby County Prosecutor learned of it.

Bucio later agreed to pay Heuker $97,767. That amount was negotiated by both parties and was taken from sale amount. It came six years after the client’s arrest.

The Springfield News-Sun contacted Bucio and received the following statement:

“I respect the Supreme Court’s decision to indefinitely suspend me from the practice of law. Fortunately, this process has humbly allowed me to become a better husband, father, friend and most importantly a true believer in God. “



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Oh, boy! Michigan couple with 13 sons adds No. 14
Oh, boy! Michigan couple with 13 sons adds No. 14

A Michigan couple with 13 sons just added another child into the family -- and yes, it was another boy. Jay and Kateri Schwandt of Rockford welcomed an 8-pound, 4-ounce boy Wednesday night, WOOD-TV reported. The boy was born at 5:56 p.m. and measured 21 inches long. He also was five days early, the Grand Rapids Press reported. The Schwandts&rsquo...
These 9 Springfield natives did great things, and now they’re being honored by their alma mater
These 9 Springfield natives did great things, and now they’re being honored by their alma mater

Nine people who graduated from Springfield City Schools will be honored as distinguished alumni tonight. James Bacon, chairman of the Steering Committee, said each person who will be honored earned it through their success in their professional careers and also their service to their community. MORE POPULAR STORIES Springfield schools set to hire new...
’Break out the Kleenex': Family shares cartoon of Barbara Bush, late daughter
’Break out the Kleenex': Family shares cartoon of Barbara Bush, late daughter

Family members of Barbara Bush were touched by a cartoon that shows the former first lady greeting her late daughter in heaven. Marshall Ramsey of the Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, drew the cartoon of Bush, who died Tuesday at 92, reuniting with daughter Pauline Robinson Bush -- known as Robin -- who died of leukemia in October 1953 when...
How a major 2015 fire and recent building demolition are changing this area of Springfield
How a major 2015 fire and recent building demolition are changing this area of Springfield

The 118-year-old Hursh Container factory in downtown Springfield was demolished on Wednesday, continuing changes in an area that was once affected by a powerful fire. A smaller second building of Hursh Container, constructed in 1952, was torn down previously. The cost of demolition for the two structures and junk and trash removal was about $50,000...
LA Fitness apologizes for racial profiling incident at New Jersey club
LA Fitness apologizes for racial profiling incident at New Jersey club

LA Fitness issued an apology after two black patrons were wrongly accused of not paying at a New Jersey club and were asked to leave, CNN reported. Tshyrad Oates posted videos of the encounter, which occurred Sunday in Secaucus, New Jersey, on Facebook. Oates said he had a guest pass and his friend was a current member. Oates said in his Facebook...
More Stories