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Disciplinary Actions - 10/23/13

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Indiana Lawyer Disciplinary Actions

The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission brings charges against attorneys who have violated the state’s rules for admission to the bar and Rules of Professional Conduct. The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications brings charges against judges, judicial officers, or judicial candidates for misconduct. Details of attorneys’ and judges’ actions for which they are being disciplined by the Supreme Court will be included unless they are not a matter of public record under the court’s rules.

Suspension
F. Scott Stuard, of Clinton County, has been suspended for noncooperation with the Disciplinary Commission, per an Oct. 3 order. The suspension was effective immediately. Stuard was ordered July 23 to show cause why he shouldn’t be immediately suspended for failure to cooperate with the commission; he never submitted a response. He is also ordered to reimburse the Disciplinary Commission $524.44 for costs of the proceeding.

Public reprimand
Ellen M. Corcella, of Marion County, received a public reprimand from the Indiana Supreme Court, per an Oct. 3 order. The reprimand stems from fee agreements with clients. In one case, Corcella billed a client at a higher rate than what the agreement called for. In the other case, a fee agreement was changed from a contingent fee to a blended hourly and contingent fee agreement which favored Corcella.

The justices found Corcella violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.5(a), charging an unreasonable fee; and 1.8(a), entering into a business transaction with a client (modification of fee agreement) unless the client is given written advice of the desirability of seeking the advice of independent counsel.

Corcella has no disciplinary history and was remorseful. The costs of the proceedings are assessed against Corcella.

Discipline Declined
Thomas M. Dixon, of St. Joseph County, was found not to have committed attorney misconduct by the Indiana Supreme Court in an Oct. 8 opinion. The hearing officer believed statements Dixon made about a St. Joseph Superior judge who refused to recuse herself from a case involving pro-life demonstrators at the University of Notre Dame warranted discipline. Justice Rucker dissented, believing Dixon violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.2(a) and should be sanctioned accordingly.•

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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