ILNews

Disciplinary Actions - 6/22/12

IL Staff
June 20, 2012
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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
Antolin J. Reiber, of Marion County, has been suspended for six months by the Indiana Supreme Court, per a June 5, 2012, order. The justices found Reiber violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.16(d): failure to refund an unearned fee promptly upon termination of representation; 1.8(j): engaging in a sexual relationship with a client unless it began prior to the representation; 1.16(a)(1): failure to withdraw from representation when the representation will result in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law; and 8.1(b): failure to respond in a timely manner to the commission’s demands for information.

The charges stem from two counts: Reiber initially refusing to refund a client’s advance payment after he was terminated as the client’s attorney and for having a sexual relationship with a different client he was representing in a protective order case. Although Reiber has not been disciplined previously for misconduct, he has had a history of noncooperation with the disciplinary commission. Previous disciplinary matters had all been dismissed. The suspension begins July 17, the costs of the proceedings are assessed against him, and Reiber may not be automatically reinstated.

Jacob A. Atanga, of Marion County, has had his suspension for noncooperation converted into an indefinite suspension, effective immediately, for failure to cooperate with the disciplinary process, per a June 5, 2012, Indiana Supreme Court order. Atanga was suspended in February for noncooperation under one pending disciplinary matter and was ordered to show cause in two other matters earlier this year. The disciplinary commission noted that Atanga has since cooperated with the commission, but objected to the lifting of his suspension based on his history of noncooperation. The other two matters from earlier this year have been dismissed as moot given his indefinite suspension.

Kristin D. Miller, of Marion County, has been suspended for noncooperation, per a June 6, 2012, Indiana Supreme Court order. The justices ordered Miller to show cause in February as to why she should not be immediately suspended from the practice of law. Her suspension begins immediately and she is ordered to reimburse the disciplinary commission $511.18.

Reinstatement
Louis W. Denney, of Delaware County, has been reinstated in Indiana, per a June 5, 2012, Indiana Supreme Court order. The justices ordered his suspension May 25 for failing to pay costs assessed in a disciplinary action by Oct. 1, the due date of his annual registration fee.•

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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

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  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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