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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. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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