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Disciplinary Actions - 4/23/14

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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
Frank W. Hogan, of Marion County, has been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court for commingling personal funds, his client funds and funds of his law firm in an attorney trust account. The April 3 order suspends Hogan for six months, effective the date of the order, all stayed subject to completion of 18 months of probation. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against him. Chief Justice Brent Dickson did not participate.

Deborah A. Riga Gardner, of Lake County, has been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court for no less than five years, effective April 3. Gardner served as Schererville Town Court judge from January 2000 to December 2003. She was indicted in 2004 for extortion and fraud and pleaded guilty to getting kickbacks from more than 1,000 defendants who she’d sentenced to driving school and counseling classes she secretly owned and personally profited from. She was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $12,120 in restitution to the town and state. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against Gardner. Her suspension is without automatic reinstatement.

Tenneil E. Selner, of St. Joseph County, has been suspended from practice, effective immediately, per an April 10 order. Selner has been found guilty of felony wrongful distribution or possession of pseudoephedrine. She is already suspended for CLE noncompliance and dues nonpayment.

Randall B. Stiles, of Allen County, has been suspended from practice for noncooperation, effective immediately, per two April 10 orders. The suspension will continue until the executive secretary of the Disciplinary Commission certifies to the court that Stiles has cooperated fully with the investigation; the investigation or any disciplinary proceedings arising from the investigation are disposed of; or until further order of the Supreme Court. Stiles is already under suspension. The costs of the proceedings are assessed against him.

Private reprimand
The Indiana Supreme Court issued a private reprimand April 11 against a Lake County attorney for making false or misleading communications regarding legal services and for failing to include an office address in a public communication. The charges stem from his affiliation with the American Association of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers Inc. and information posted on that organization’s website that may be confusing to the public. The average viewer would not differentiate between the attorney and the statements about Law Tigers on the AAMIL website, so he is therefore responsible for objectionable content on the website. The identity of the respondent was kept anonymous by the court.•

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  • Mr Stiles
    I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

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  1. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  2. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  3. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

  4. I am one of Steele's victims and was taken for $6,000. I want my money back due to him doing nothing for me. I filed for divorce after a 16 year marriage and lost everything. My kids, my home, cars, money, pension. Every attorney I have talked to is not willing to help me. What can I do? I was told i can file a civil suit but you have to have all of Steelers info that I don't have. Of someone can please help me or tell me what info I need would be great.

  5. It would appear that news breaking on Drudge from the Hoosier state (link below) ties back to this Hoosier story from the beginning of the recent police disrespect period .... MCBA president Cassandra Bentley McNair issued the statement on behalf of the association Dec. 1. The association said it was “saddened and disappointed” by the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. “The MCBA does not believe this was a just outcome to this process, and is disheartened that the system we as lawyers are intended to uphold failed the African-American community in such a way,” the association stated. “This situation is not just about the death of Michael Brown, but the thousands of other African-Americans who are disproportionately targeted and killed by police officers.” http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2016/07/18/hate-cops-sign-prompts-controversy/87242664/

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