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Disciplinary Actions - 5/21/14

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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.

Disbarment
Christopher E. Haigh has been disbarred immediately by the Indiana Supreme Court for continuing to practice during a suspension, per a May 7 disciplinary opinion. Haigh must also pay a $1,000 fine. See page 25 for more.

Resignation
Todd A. Woodmansee, of Marion County, has resigned from the bar, effective immediately, per an order released May 8. He must wait five years before petitioning for reinstatement, and the costs of the proceeding are assessed against him.

Suspension
Peter Raventos, of Owen County, has been suspended for noncooperation with the Disciplinary Commission, per an April 29 order. Raventos was already suspended for continuing legal education noncompliance and dues nonpayment. He pleaded guilty in 2013 to a misdemeanor charge of false reporting stemming from an incident in a state park in which he rigged a shotgun to shoot himself. He called 911 to report the shooting, and officers concluded he set up the shotgun to shoot himself. Raventos must pay $524.44 for the costs of this proceeding.

The Indiana Supreme Court issued an amended interim suspension order May 1 in the case of Robert B. Bush of Johnson County. Bush was suspended from practice Feb. 13, 2014, after being found guilty of felony stalking. The interim suspension will continue until further order of the court. The order issued in February erroneously said Bush was convicted of two felonies.

Brad J. Weber, of Adams County, has been suspended from practice effective May 2 for noncooperation with the Disciplinary Commission, per a May 2 order. He must pay $524.44 for the costs of this proceeding.

Lindsay C. Potthast, of Marion County, has been suspended for 30 days, which is stayed subject to completion of at least 12 months of probation, per a May 7 order. Potthast, a deputy prosecutor, pleaded guilty to Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated related to a June 2011 traffic stop. Potthast violated Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(b) and 8.4(d). Her suspension began May 7. As part of her probation, she must enter into a monitoring agreement if recommended by the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against her.

Paul J. Page, of Marion County, has been suspended for at least two years by the Indiana Supreme Court. The suspension, beginning May 12, is without automatic reinstatement. Page pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting fraud by wire, radio or television, which led to an interim suspension Jan. 27. The justices found he violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 8.4(b) and 8.4(c). If Page’s two-year probation in the criminal case is reduced by an order of the trial court, he may petition for modification of his suspension from practice. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against him. Chief Justice Brent Dickson believes Page should be disbarred; Justice Mark Massa did not participate.•

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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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