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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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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