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Disciplinary Actions - 2/27/13

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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
Kristin D. Miller, of Marion County, has been suspended indefinitely for noncooperation with the Disciplinary Commission, per a Feb. 1 order. Miller was initially suspended June 6, 2012, for noncooperation, and the Disciplinary Commission moved for the suspension to be converted to indefinite due to Miller’s lack of response.

Miller’s suspension became effective the date of the order.

Timothy S. Durham, of Marion County, had his law license suspended Feb. 14 by the Indiana Supreme Court. The Indiana Supreme Court ordered Durham suspended pendente lite effective immediately. He was originally admitted to the bar in 1987.

Durham was convicted in June 2012 of 12 felony fraud charges and sentenced to 50 years for his role in a Ponzi scheme that defrauded Ohio investors out of $250 million. The charges stemmed from the collapse of Fair Finance Co. in Akron, Ohio, in which Durham was a co-owner.

Public reprimand
Roberta L. Ross, of Marion County, has been publicly reprimanded for how she handled the settlement of a lawsuit stemming from an explosion at a Central Soya plant in Indianapolis in 1994.

The Feb. 12 order says that Ross violated the Indiana Professional Conduct Rules (2003): 1.2(a): Failure to abide by a client’s decisions concerning the objectives of representation, to consult with the client as to the means by which they are to be pursued, or to abide by a client’s decision whether to accept an offer of settlement of a matter; 1.4(b): Failure to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit a client to make informed decisions; and 1.8(g): Participating in making an aggregate settlement regarding two or more clients unless each client consents after adequate consultation and disclosure.

After reaching a confidential settlement agreement, she created a formula for determining how to distribute the funds without consulting the clients.

The hearing officer found many factors in Ross’ favor, including that she has no history of misconduct, is genuinely remorseful for her misconduct, and has a long history of pro bono activities. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against her.•
 

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  1. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

  2. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  3. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  4. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  5. Different rules for different folks....

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