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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.

Suspension
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.•

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  • 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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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