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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. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

  2. Such is not uncommon on law school startups. Students and faculty should tap Bruce Green, city attorney of Lufkin, Texas. He led a group of studnets and faculty and sued the ABA as a law student. He knows the ropes, has advised other law school startups. Very astute and principled attorney of unpopular clients, at least in his past, before Lufkin tapped him to run their show.

  3. Not that having the appellate records on Odyssey won't be welcome or useful, but I would rather they first bring in the stray counties that aren't yet connected on the trial court level.

  4. Aristotle said 350 bc: "The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.

  5. Oh yes, lifetime tenure. The Founders gave that to the federal judges .... at that time no federal district courts existed .... so we are talking the Supreme Court justices only in context ....so that they could rule against traditional marriage and for the other pet projects of the sixties generation. Right. Hmmmm, but I must admit, there is something from that time frame that seems to recommend itself in this context ..... on yes, from a document the Founders penned in 1776: " He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

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