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Court reprimands attorneys for trade-name use

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Three attorneys who practiced separately but advertised as an LLC were publicly reprimand by the Indiana Supreme Court for violating several Indiana Professional Conduct Rules by not letting clients know they didn't practice law as a firm.

The Supreme Court combined the disciplinary actions against J. Michael Loomis, Robert A. Grubbs, and Robert J. Wray into one order posted May 8 and agreed a public reprimand was the appropriate discipline for violating Rules 7.2(b), and 7.5(a) and (b). The sanction was consistent with discipline imposed in other cases involving misleading attorney communications.
 
Loomis, Grubbs, and Wray, along with another attorney who is not a respondent in this action, formed "Attorneys of Aboite, LLC," named after a township in Allen County. The three represented clients individually and didn't practice as a firm; all three used the names "Attorneys of Aboite, LLC" and "Attorneys of Aboite" in professional documents, communications, advertisements, signage, telephone directory listings, and a Web site without revealing they didn't practice law as a firm.

The State Board of Law Examiners never issued a certificate of registration for those names; the attorneys stopped using the name in October 2008.

The Supreme Court found the attorneys' use of "Attorneys of Aboite, LLC" and "Attorneys of Aboite" to be improper because a lawyer in private practice shall not practice under a trade name. The use of "LLC" implied that the attorneys were practicing law together as a LLC and not as individuals just sharing office facilities. Using an LLC in a name implies the LLC maintains adequate professional liability insurance or other forms of adequate financial responsibility for the protections of clients and that the State Board of Law Examiners investigated the LLC and certified it, according to the order.

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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