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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. "So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)" Well, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of our founders who raped women, raped slaves, raped children, maimed immigrants, sold children, stole property, broke promises, broke apart families, killed natives... You know, good God fearing down home Christian folk! :/

  2. Who gives a rats behind about all the fluffy ranking nonsense. What students having to pay off debt need to know is that all schools aren't created equal and students from many schools don't have a snowball's chance of getting a decent paying job straight out of law school. Their lowly ranked lawschool won't tell them that though. When schools start honestly (accurately) reporting *those numbers, things will get interesting real quick, and the looks on student's faces will be priceless!

  3. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  4. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  5. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

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