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Disciplinary Actions - 6/8/12

June 6, 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.

Reinstatement
James D. Nafe Jr., of St. Joseph County, has been reinstated to the practice of law in two separate disciplinary actions. Nafe had been suspended for noncooperation. He was reinstated May 2, 2012, based on two orders released from the Indiana Supreme Court May 15.

Suspension
Harlan L. Vondersaar II, of Hendricks County, has been suspended for 90 days by the Indiana Supreme Court, per a May 16, 2012, order. The suspension is effective 20 days from the date of the order. Vondersaar was conditionally admitted to the bar pursuant to a consent agreement with the state Board of Law Examiners that he refrain from using alcohol and have no arrests for criminal offenses. On Oct. 3, 2011, he notified the board that he had been arrested for drunk driving and later pleaded guilty to Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated with endangerment.

Following his suspension, Vondersaar shall be automatically reinstated to conditional admission for five years pursuant to the terms of a consent agreement signed May 5, 2011, and he shall comply in all respects with Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program monitoring or treatment programs.

Kjell P. Engebretsen, of Boone County, has had his suspension for noncooperation converted into an indefinite suspension, per an Indiana Supreme Court order on May 25. Engebretsen was initially suspended Sept. 2, 2011.

Louis W. Denney, of Delaware County, and Deborah D. Julian (Kubley), of Johnson County, have been suspended for failure to pay costs, per a May 25 Supreme Court order. The suspensions are effective 10 days from the date of the order.

Lawrence Todd Newman has been suspended from practice for 18 months in Ohio, per the Supreme Court of Ohio. His suspension is reciprocal discipline based on Newman’s suspension in Indiana, which was effective Jan. 31.

Charges dismissed
The Indiana Supreme Court has dismissed petitions for suspension for failure to satisfy costs against Lindsay T. Boyd, Bradley D. Hamilton, Neil C. Thomas and Gregory A. Watkins, per a May 25 order.

Public reprimand
Julia E. Dimick, of Marion County, has received a public reprimand for violating Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(d), per a May 25 order from the Indiana Supreme Court. According to the order, Dimick sent a letter to the opposing party’s counsel implying she would file a grievance with the Disciplinary Commission against that attorney unless the attorney made a settlement offer.

Resignation
Charles R. Hyde Jr., of Wayne County, has resigned from the bar, per a May 25 order from the Indiana Supreme Court accepting his resignation.

Correction
The Indiana Supreme Court has corrected its April 10, 2012, suspension order of Mark J. Thornburg. His suspension date should have read April 28, 2011.•

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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