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Disciplinary Actions -4/24/13

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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.

Public reprimand
Ray W. Robison, of Lawrence County, has been publicly reprimanded by the Indiana Supreme Court in an April 9 order. The attorney signed a co-representative’s name on a document and forwarded it to be signed by the other co-representative, who recognized that the signature was not her sister’s.

Robison violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(c), which prohibits engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against Robison.

Chief Justice Brent Dickson dissented, to which Justice Loretta Rush concurred, believing Robison should receive a substantial period of suspension.

Suspension
Edgardo J. Martinez Suarez, of Hamilton County, has been suspended for 60 days by the Indiana Supreme Court in an April 2 order. The suspension is stayed subject to completion of at least two years of probation.

Martinez Suarez violated several Indiana Professional Conduct and Admission and Discipline rules, including Professional Conduct Rule 1.5(b) for failure to timely withdraw earned fees and personal monies from client trust account funds; and Admission and Discipline Rule 23(29)(a)(2) and (3) for failure to maintain proper records for trust account activities. An in-house audit of Martinez Suarez’s trust account by the Disciplinary Commission revealed violations from 2006 to 2012, including at least six instances of paying personal and business expenses from the trust account. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against him.

Marisa Aguilar, of Marion County, has been suspended for 30 days by the Indiana Supreme Court in an April 2 order. The suspension is stayed subject to completion of at least two years of probation.

Aguilar violated several Indiana Professional Conduct and Admission and Discipline rules, including Professional Conduct Rule 1.15(a) for failure to maintain and preserve complete records of client trust fund accounts; and Admission and Discipline Rule 23(29)(a)(5) for making withdrawals from a trust account without written withdrawal authorization stating the amount and purpose of the withdrawal and payee.

The Disciplinary Commission learned of an overdraft on Aguilar’s trust account, and she failed to respond to demands for a documented explanation. Her trust account was audited after a grievance was filed and showed that she made several deposits and disbursements from her trust account without creating or retaining adequate documentation. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against her.

Octavia F. Snulligan, of Marion County, has been suspended immediately by the Indiana Supreme Court for noncooperation with the Disciplinary Commission, per an April 15 order. The suspension will continue until the Disciplinary Commission executive secretary certifies that Snulligan has cooperated with the investigation; the investigation or any disciplinary proceedings arising from the investigation are disposed of; or until further order from the Supreme Court.

The costs of the proceeding are assessed against Snulligan.•
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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