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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. Oh, the name calling was not name calling, it was merely social commentary making this point, which is on the minds of many, as an aside to the article's focus: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100111082327AAmlmMa Or, if you prefer a local angle, I give you exhibit A in that analysis of viva la difference: http://fox59.com/2015/03/16/moed-appears-on-house-floor-says-hes-not-resigning/

  2. Too many attorneys take their position as a license to intimidate and threaten non attorneys in person and by mail. Did find it ironic that a reader moved to comment twice on this article could not complete a paragraph without resorting to insulting name calling (rethuglican) as a substitute for reasoned discussion. Some people will never get the point this action should have made.

  3. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  4. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  5. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

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