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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. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  3. Don't believe me, listen to Pacino: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6bC9w9cH-M

  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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