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Disciplinary Actions - 8/3/12

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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
Lora N. Barkes, of Porter County, has been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court for seven rule violations, including failure to act with reasonable diligence and promptness, and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.

Barkes falsely told two clients that she had taken action on several collection actions when she had not. At the time, she knew her mental fitness was impaired by depression, yet she continued with the representations.

Several mitigating factors were found, including that Barkes is remorseful and has no disciplinary history. The justices found in a July 17, 2012, order that she violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.3; 1.4(b); 1.16(a)(2); 3.2; and 8.4(a), (c) and (d). They suspended her for 180 days, beginning Aug. 28, with 60 days actively served. The remainder will be stayed subject to completion of 18 months of probation, which includes monitoring by the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program.

Resignation
Stacy H. Sheedy, of Marion County, has resigned from the Indiana bar, per a July 17, 2012, order. Sheedy pleaded guilty in March to two counts of Class C felony theft following accusations that she misappropriated nearly $600,000 from clients. She was sentenced to eight years.

She is ineligible to petition for reinstatement for five years. Sheedy’s resignation ends any disciplinary investigation.

Cynthia P. Purvis, of Marion County, has resigned from the Indiana bar, per a July 19, 2012, order. Her resignation is effective immediately. Any disciplinary actions pending against Purvis have been dismissed as moot. She must wait five years before she can petition for reinstatement.•

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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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