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Bloomington attorney enters into plea agreement

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A jury trial set for this week for a Monroe County attorney accused of stealing money from clients has been cancelled because a plea agreement has been reached.

Philip H. Chamberlain was charged in 2008 with two counts of fraudulent sale of securities, one count of forgery, one count of sale of unregistered securities, and one count of unregistered investment advisor, all as Class C felonies. Bloomington police arrested Chamberlain in May 2008 on charges of misconduct involving his clients and violations of Indiana’s Securities Act.

According to the Office of the Indiana Secretary of State, a client of Chamberlain sought legal advice related to investing in rental properties. Chamberlain allegedly suggested his client loan Chamberlain and other people money for the development of a golf course and construction of a home in Lawrence County. Chamberlain never invested the money and was accused of stealing most of it. He allegedly forged an endorsement signature on one of the client’s checks and then deposited that check into his bank account.

Chamberlain has been a lawyer in Indiana since 1990 and has no history of discipline, according to the Roll of Attorneys. He has been practicing law since the charges were filed.

Chamberlain and the state negotiated a plea agreement, where one count of fraudulent sale of securities has been amended to a Class D felony counterfeiting charge, to which Chamberlain will plead. He will have to pay restitution on all counts based on the plea agreement. A restitution hearing will be set at a later date.

A sentencing hearing on the Class D felony counterfeiting charge has been set for 10 a.m. Jan. 3.

 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

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