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Justices disbar attorney, threaten imprisonment for future violations

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An attorney who continued to practice law despite being suspended in Indiana has been disbarred by the Indiana Supreme Court for his “on-going, pervasive and deliberate” violations of the suspension order.

The justices handed down the disbarment in In the Matter of: Christopher E. Haigh, 98S00-0608-DI-317, which is effective Wednesday. Christopher Haigh must also pay a $1,000 fine for repeatedly practicing law, even though he knew he was suspended. He was suspended effective Aug. 15, 2008, after becoming sexually intimate with two minors on a team he coached; providing them alcohol; and falsely assuring their parents, their school and others that he had no inappropriate relationship with the teens.

Haigh never sought reinstatement and instead continued to practice and perform legal functions for clients. He was also admitted as an attorney at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the federal courts, which also suspended him after learning of the state suspension.

The per curiam opinion outlines Haigh’s actions in contempt of the suspension order, including performing significant legal work but holding himself out to be acting as a paralegal.

Haigh refused until the last day of his disciplinary hearings in this matter to acknowledge the wrongful nature of his conduct, the opinion notes.

“Respondent’s violation of the Suspension Order was on-going, pervasive, and deliberate, and it exposed the public to the danger of misconduct by an attorney who has yet to prove his remorse, rehabilitation, and fitness to practice law through the reinstatement process,” the justices wrote. “Under these circumstances, the Court concludes that a fine of $1,000.00 and disbarment is warranted. The Court cautions that any further contempt by Respondent will likely result in imposition of a period of imprisonment.”
 

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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