COA finds attorney in contempt

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The Indiana Court of Appeals issued an order Friday holding an attorney in contempt. The order came about because of questionable conduct by the court-appointed attorney.

At a hearing Nov. 14, the attorney, Allen C. Mattson, admitted the allegations against him were true.

Mattson was appointed to represent Michael A. Quillen in Blackford Circuit Court. Mattson was also appointed as appellate counsel for Quillen. From March 14 through July 30, 2007, Mattson filed two motions for extensions, a plea for extension of time to file with an insufficient certificate of service, and a belated notice of cause and plea for extension to file a brief in the appeal. Mattson was granted a final extension in August. The brief and appendix were not timely filed, and Quillen's appeal was dismissed in September. Mattson filed a motion to reinstate the appeal in October and was ordered Oct. 29 to show cause at the Nov. 14 hearing why he shouldn't be held in contempt of court.

Mattson confirmed during the hearing he had not timely filed briefs for another court-appointed client, Emigdio Lopez, and was found in contempt of court.

Mattson was ordered to withdraw his appearances for Quillen and Lopez and to forfeit all appellate fees for his legal services dealing with these cases. Mattson was also ordered to pay a $250 fine, which was stayed subject to the outcome of his contact with the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program.

The court also ordered Blackford Circuit Court to appoint new counsel to represent Quillen and Lopez in their respective criminal appeals.

At the hearing and in his response to the Oct. 29 order, Mattson presented evidence showing he had been suffering from physical health issues that impaired his ability to be productive and timely on these cases. Judges Mark Bailey, Melissa May and Senior Judge George Hoffman Jr. in the per curiam opinion acknowledged that in mitigation Mattson presented evidence of his health issues and his impaired ability to represent the mentioned clients. Chief Judge John Baker signed the contempt order.

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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.