Disciplinary Actions - 11/23/12

IL Staff
November 21, 2012
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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.

Kjell P. Engebretsen, of Boone County, has been suspended for at least three years because his repeated misconduct has “injured his clients” and “tarnished the reputation of the legal profession.” Engebretsen had two suspensions still in effect when the Indiana Supreme Court issued this latest suspension Oct. 29. The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission filed a complaint against Engebretsen in November 2011, which alleged misconduct that occurred from 2006 through 2011. He’s accused of neglecting clients’ cases, failing to inform clients that his medical problems would severely limit his ability to represent them, failing to refund unearned fees, and other charges.

Engebretsen did not respond to the complaint. Judge Thomas G. Fisher, who was appointed to hear the case, found five facts in aggravation, including that the attorney’s misconduct severely damaged the public’s perception of attorneys and caused great harm to his clients, and that he has shown no remorse and displayed indifference to paying restitution.

Three justices found Engebretsen violated nine rules of professional conduct, including engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, and failure to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter. His suspension is effective immediately and is without automatic reinstatement. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against him.

Justice Steven David dissented, believing Engebretsen should be disbarred.

Proceeding stayed
Charlie P. White, of Marion County, has had his disciplinary proceedings stayed by the Indiana Supreme Court per a Nov. 1 order. The former secretary of state sought the stay pending resolution of the appeal of his criminal charges. His law license, which was suspended in May, remains suspended.

The justices entered the interim suspension earlier this year after White was convicted of several felonies following a trial in Hamilton County on voter fraud charges. The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission didn’t object to the requested stay “in the interests of judicial economy,” according to the order.

Justice Mark Massa did not participate in the decision.•


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.