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Plea agreement spurs lawyer to resign

February 11, 2008

An Indiana attorney who accepted cocaine from a client as payment for legal services has resigned from the bar. The Indiana Supreme Court accepted James Michael Kummerer's resignation Jan. 25.

The Indiana Supreme Court suspended the Columbus attorney in September while criminal charges from his April 2007 arrest were pending in Bartholomew Circuit Court. The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission issued the order of interim suspension of Kummerer for 180 days because of "alleged misconduct that may cause Respondent's continued practice of law during the pendency of a disciplinary investigation or proceeding to pose a substantial threat of harm to the public, clients, potential clients, or the administration of justice."

Kummerer accepted a plea agreement with the Bartholomew County Prosecutor's Office and was sentenced Feb. 1 to eight years of probation. The agreement required that he also give up his law license and pay court fees.

Kummerer had been suspended from practice in 1999 after he was arrested for possession of cocaine. He had practiced law in Indiana for more than 30 years.

As a result of Kummerer's resignation, all pending disciplinary actions against him have been dismissed, according to the Jan. 25 Indiana Supreme Court order.

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