ILNews

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.

Suspension
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. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  2. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  3. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  4. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

  5. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

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