In the Matter of Gege Okezuandue Odion

NOTICE: This opinion is subject to modification resulting from motions for reconsideration under Supreme Court Rule 27, the Court’s reconsideration, and editorial revisions by the Reporter of Decisions. The version of the opinion published in the Advance Sheets for the Georgia Reports, designated as the “Final Copy,” will replace any prior version on the Court’s website and docket. A bound volume of the Georgia Reports will contain the final and official text of the opinion. In the Supreme Court of Georgia Decided: August 9, 2022 S22Z0316. IN THE MATTER OF GEGE OKEZUANDUE ODION. PER CURIAM. Dr. Gege Okezuandidue Odion, an optometrist, is a law school graduate who applied to the Board to Determine Fitness of Bar Applicants (the “Board”) for certification of fitness to practice law. The Board considered Odion’s application; found that it demonstrated a lack of “candor, judgment, integrity, diligence, [and] trustworthiness” required of a prospective member of the State Bar of Georgia; and denied the application. The central issue giving rise to the Board’s denial arises out of Odion’s response to the application requirement regarding disclosure of court proceedings filed by an applicant or in which an applicant is a party. Because the record supports the Board’s decision, we affirm. 1. The record shows that Odion applied to take the July 2005 Bar exam. He submitted an incomplete fitness application in November 2004 and did not move forward with fitness certification or sit for the July 2005 Bar exam. Odion filed a second fitness application on August 23, 2018. On November 13, 2020, the Board served Odion with a tentative order denying the application, noting a number of reasons for the tentative denial, including “a deficiency in the level of judgment and candor required of all members of the Bar of Georgia, specifically with regard to the number of lawsuits you filed and failed to disclose on your Character and Fitness Application.” Following Odion’s request for a hearing, the Board provided Odion with a list of specifications for the denial of his application, including details regarding a number of lawsuits Odion had failed to disclose. Odion timely answered the specifications by letter. This Court appointed a Special Master who presided over a hearing regarding this matter on September 30, 2021. Both Odion and the Board presented evidence at the hearing. Following the hearing, the Special Master made findings of fact, conclusions of 2 law, and recommendations. Among those findings, each of which is supported by the record, the Special Master determined that, in his initial 2005 fitness application, Odion indicated that he had been involved in three litigation matters. Odion filed a second application on August 23, 2018, which he amended multiple times (the last amendment was filed on August 9, 2021). The 2018 application initially listed six lawsuits that Odion had filed pro se. In response to the specifications noted by the Board following its tentative denial of the application, Odion submitted a letter listing 22 additional litigation matters in which he had been involved. Odion …

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