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Disciplinary Actions - 7/2/14

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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
The suspension of Michael L. Lipsky, of St. Joseph County, has been converted to an indefinite suspension, per a June 12 order by the Indiana Supreme Court. Lipsky was suspended in October 2013 for noncooperation concerning a grievance.

Michael J. Alexander, of Delaware County, has been suspended for 60 days with automatic reinstatement, per a June 16 order. The Indiana Supreme Court found he violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 5.5(a) and 8.4(a) for hiring an attorney who had resigned from the bar two years earlier. Alexander later fired the attorney. The justices found Alexander violated Rules 3.4(c), 3.4(e) and 8.4(d) regarding his actions involving discovery in a dram shop case and statements made during closing argument. The Supreme Court noted Alexander took corrective steps regarding his hiring of the ex-attorney and expressed regret regarding his conduct, but that he also has a history of discipline.

His suspension begins Aug. 5 and the costs of the proceeding are assessed against him.

Paul K. Ogden, of Marion County, has been suspended for 30 days with automatic reinstatement, per a June 16 order. The Indiana Supreme Court found comments Ogden made regarding a judge on an estate case of Ogden’s client – that the judge committed malfeasance by allowing the estate to be opened as an unsupervised estate and not requiring the posting of bond – violated Rule 8.2(a) because he made the statements in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity. The justices held other comments Ogden made regarding the judge did not rise to the level of warranting discipline, nor did his action of sending letters to Marion Superior judges and other entities regarding the forfeiture law. Ogden’s suspension begins Aug. 5 and he is ordered to pay one-half of the costs and expenses of the proceeding and a $250 fine to the clerk.•

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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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