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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. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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