Disciplinary Actions - 4/23/14

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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.

Frank W. Hogan, of Marion County, has been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court for commingling personal funds, his client funds and funds of his law firm in an attorney trust account. The April 3 order suspends Hogan for six months, effective the date of the order, all stayed subject to completion of 18 months of probation. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against him. Chief Justice Brent Dickson did not participate.

Deborah A. Riga Gardner, of Lake County, has been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court for no less than five years, effective April 3. Gardner served as Schererville Town Court judge from January 2000 to December 2003. She was indicted in 2004 for extortion and fraud and pleaded guilty to getting kickbacks from more than 1,000 defendants who she’d sentenced to driving school and counseling classes she secretly owned and personally profited from. She was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $12,120 in restitution to the town and state. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against Gardner. Her suspension is without automatic reinstatement.

Tenneil E. Selner, of St. Joseph County, has been suspended from practice, effective immediately, per an April 10 order. Selner has been found guilty of felony wrongful distribution or possession of pseudoephedrine. She is already suspended for CLE noncompliance and dues nonpayment.

Randall B. Stiles, of Allen County, has been suspended from practice for noncooperation, effective immediately, per two April 10 orders. The suspension will continue until the executive secretary of the Disciplinary Commission certifies to the court that Stiles has cooperated fully with the investigation; the investigation or any disciplinary proceedings arising from the investigation are disposed of; or until further order of the Supreme Court. Stiles is already under suspension. The costs of the proceedings are assessed against him.

Private reprimand
The Indiana Supreme Court issued a private reprimand April 11 against a Lake County attorney for making false or misleading communications regarding legal services and for failing to include an office address in a public communication. The charges stem from his affiliation with the American Association of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers Inc. and information posted on that organization’s website that may be confusing to the public. The average viewer would not differentiate between the attorney and the statements about Law Tigers on the AAMIL website, so he is therefore responsible for objectionable content on the website. The identity of the respondent was kept anonymous by the court.•


  • Mr Stiles
    I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.