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Disciplinary Actions -11/20/13

November 20, 2013

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
Jess M. Smith III, of Marion County, has been suspended for 90 days, beginning Oct. 28, all stayed subject to his completion of at least 24 months of probation with Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program monitoring. Smith pleaded guilty to Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated and, as a result, violated Ind. Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(b). The costs of the proceeding are assessed against him.

Public reprimand
Larry D. Beeson, of Kosciusko County, has been publicly reprimanded for notarizing the signature on a guardianship consent form even though he did not witness the signing. The signature is a valid signature. Beeson violated Ind. Professional Conduct Rules 8.4(c) and 8.4 (d). The costs of the proceeding are assessed against him. Chief Justice Dickson dissented, believing suspension is warranted because falsely notarizing a signature is “manifestly dishonest and an absolute ethical transgression.”

Suspension terminated
The suspension of Jeffrey D. Heck, of Hamilton County, has been terminated as of Oct. 21, per a Supreme Court order. Heck was suspended for noncooperation with the Disciplinary Commission but has since cooperated with its investigation. The reinstatement to practice will take effect if no other suspension is in effect.•

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