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Disciplinary Actions - 5/21/14

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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.

Disbarment
Christopher E. Haigh has been disbarred immediately by the Indiana Supreme Court for continuing to practice during a suspension, per a May 7 disciplinary opinion. Haigh must also pay a $1,000 fine. See page 25 for more.

Resignation
Todd A. Woodmansee, of Marion County, has resigned from the bar, effective immediately, per an order released May 8. He must wait five years before petitioning for reinstatement, and the costs of the proceeding are assessed against him.

Suspension
Peter Raventos, of Owen County, has been suspended for noncooperation with the Disciplinary Commission, per an April 29 order. Raventos was already suspended for continuing legal education noncompliance and dues nonpayment. He pleaded guilty in 2013 to a misdemeanor charge of false reporting stemming from an incident in a state park in which he rigged a shotgun to shoot himself. He called 911 to report the shooting, and officers concluded he set up the shotgun to shoot himself. Raventos must pay $524.44 for the costs of this proceeding.

The Indiana Supreme Court issued an amended interim suspension order May 1 in the case of Robert B. Bush of Johnson County. Bush was suspended from practice Feb. 13, 2014, after being found guilty of felony stalking. The interim suspension will continue until further order of the court. The order issued in February erroneously said Bush was convicted of two felonies.

Brad J. Weber, of Adams County, has been suspended from practice effective May 2 for noncooperation with the Disciplinary Commission, per a May 2 order. He must pay $524.44 for the costs of this proceeding.

Lindsay C. Potthast, of Marion County, has been suspended for 30 days, which is stayed subject to completion of at least 12 months of probation, per a May 7 order. Potthast, a deputy prosecutor, pleaded guilty to Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated related to a June 2011 traffic stop. Potthast violated Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(b) and 8.4(d). Her suspension began May 7. As part of her probation, she must enter into a monitoring agreement if recommended by the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against her.

Paul J. Page, of Marion County, has been suspended for at least two years by the Indiana Supreme Court. The suspension, beginning May 12, is without automatic reinstatement. Page pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting fraud by wire, radio or television, which led to an interim suspension Jan. 27. The justices found he violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 8.4(b) and 8.4(c). If Page’s two-year probation in the criminal case is reduced by an order of the trial court, he may petition for modification of his suspension from practice. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against him. Chief Justice Brent Dickson believes Page should be disbarred; Justice Mark Massa did not participate.•

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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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