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Attorney reprimanded for response to harassing calls

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The Indiana Supreme Court has publicly reprimanded an Indianapolis attorney who responded to harassing phone calls and pre-recorded messages to her unlisted phone number by asking a company representative if he was “gay” or “sweet.”

In the May 7 order that was posted online Monday, the justices unanimously imposed a public reprimand against attorney Stacy L. Kelley, who’s been practicing since 1996. This is her first disciplinary action, according to the order and state Roll of Attorneys.

In June 2008, Kelley began receiving persistent calls and pre-recorded messages on her unlisted phone number from a company asking for someone by the name of her husband. The couple agreed that Kelley would call the toll-free number left in the messages, according to the court’s order. She called and spoke with a male representative and identified her husband as her client. She then noted what she thought was a “feminine-sounding voice” and gratuitously asked the representative if he was “gay” or “sweet,” the order says. After the company representative commented on the unprofessional nature of her question, the phone conversation ended abruptly.

Mitigating facts are that Kelley had no prior disciplinary history, she fully cooperated with the Disciplinary Commission, she had a history of providing service to the legal profession, her comments were made after enduring harassing phone calls to her home, and she demonstrated her remorse by apologizing to the company representative.

The court found that the parties agree that Kelley violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(g), which prohibits engaging in conduct, in a professional capacity, that manifested bias or prejudice based upon sexual orientation, and this conduct was not legitimate advocacy.
 

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  • bad decision
    This is a bad decision. This impinges the lawyer's free speech in favor of another aggrieved group. Used to be lawyers were for individual rights. Now its powerful groups versus individuals with lawyers rights trampled right along the way.

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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