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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. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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