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Disciplinary Actions - 2/12/14

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Indiana Lawyer Disciplinary Actions

The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission brings charges against attorneys who have violated the state’s rules for admission to the bar and Rules of Professional Conduct. The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications brings charges against judges, judicial officers, or judicial candidates for misconduct. Details of attorneys’ and judges’ actions for which they are being disciplined by the Supreme Court will be included unless they are not a matter of public record under the court’s rules.

Suspension
Paul J. Page, of Marion County, has been suspended on an interim basis due to his 2013 conviction of felony wire fraud, per a Jan. 27 order. The interim suspension shall continue until further order of the court or final resolution of any resulting disciplinary action. Justice Mark Massa did not participate.

Stanley Kahn, of Marion County, has been suspended for six months, all stayed subject to completion of 18 months of probation, per a Jan. 17 order. Kahn was found to have violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.15(a), 1.15(c), and 5.3(b) and Guideline 9.1, as well as Admission and Discipline Rule 23(29)(a)(4). Kahn’s office manager “T.T.” transferred funds from an attorney trust account to the firm’s operating account to continue funding the operations of the law office, which was experiencing financial difficulties in 2010. Because Kahn did not monitor T.T., he did not discover these transfers until December 2011. T.T. also improperly comingled more than $150,000 in client funds into an account that holds funds to pay the firm’s end-of-year tax obligations. T.T. attempted to conceal her actions. The order notes that no clients were harmed as a result of Kahn’s misconduct.

Shante P. Henry, of Lake County, has been suspended indefinitely, per a Jan. 23 order. Henry was originally suspended in May 2013 for failure to cooperate with the Disciplinary Commission.

Joshua R. Payton, of St. Joseph County, has been suspended on an interim basis due to a felony conviction in Michigan, per a Jan. 23 order. Payton accepted a plea offer in Michigan and was found guilty of Class G felony fleeing or eluding a police officer in the fourth degree.

Jeremy S. Brenman, of Monroe County, has been suspended indefinitely per a Jan. 23 order. Brenman was originally suspended in May 2013 for failure to cooperate with the Disciplinary Commission.

Contempt
David E. Schalk, of Monroe County, has been found in contempt of court by the Indiana Supreme Court, per a Jan. 27 order. Schalk was suspended in May 2013 without automatic reinstatement for at least nine months. In September 2013, the Disciplinary Commission alleged that Schalk represented two people in a guardianship proceeding. His actions on the guardianship proceeding constitute the practice of law in violation of the suspension order. The justices imposed a $500 fine for practicing law while suspended.•

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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