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Disciplinary Actions - 11/10/10

November 10, 2010
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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.

Suspensions
Debra Lee Fannin Hill a/k/a Debra Fannin Graham has been suspended indefinitely from the practice of law in Indiana effective Oct. 25, 2010, according to a Supreme Court order imposing reciprocal discipline. Hill is admitted to practice law in Indiana and Tennessee, and was disbarred by the Supreme Court of Tennessee June 16, 2010. Hill was already suspended in Indiana pursuant to an order of reciprocal discipline dated Dec. 10, 2009, based on a July 8, 2009, order of suspension by the Supreme Court of Tennessee.

Steven F. Fillenwarth of Marion County has had his effective date of suspension postponed, according to a Supreme Court order Nov. 4. The Supreme Court ordered his suspension to begin Nov. 12, but Fillenwarth filed a motion to postpone until Jan. 17, 2011, to allow him to complete his current tour of duty in Iraq with the Army JAG Corps. The justices granted the motion and postponed his suspension until Jan. 17. Justice Steven David did not participate in the case.

Reinstatement
Thomas W. Belleperche of Allen County has been conditionally reinstated as a member of the Indiana bar subject to the terms and conditions of probation stated in an Oct. 25, 2010, order from the Supreme Court. Belleperche had been suspended for six months on Sept. 27, 2005, all stayed, subject to probation of at least 24 months. His probation was revoked for violations by order dated May 3, 2006, and the Supreme Court suspended him for six months without automatic reinstatement effective June 12, 2006. Belleperche filed a petition for reinstatement Jan. 6, 2010, and on Sept. 20, 2010, the Disciplinary Commission filed its recommendation that he be reinstated to the practice of law conditioned on certain terms of probation.

Belleperche will be reinstated subject to successful completion of probation of at least three years on terms to be determined by JLAP consistent with the hearing officer’s recommendations; he shall have no violations of the terms set by JLAP, the law, or the Rules of Professional Conduct during his probation; and if he violates his probation the commission may petition the Supreme Court to revoke his probation and to re-impose his suspension without automatic reinstatement. •

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  1. "Am I bugging you? I don't mean to bug ya." If what I wrote below is too much social philosophy for Indiana attorneys, just take ten this vacay to watch The Lego Movie with kiddies and sing along where appropriate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etzMjoH0rJw

  2. I've got some free speech to share here about who is at work via the cat's paw of the ACLU stamping out Christian observances.... 2 Thessalonians chap 2: "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last."

  3. Did someone not tell people who have access to the Chevy Volts that it has a gas engine and will run just like a normal car? The batteries give the Volt approximately a 40 mile range, but after that the gas engine will propel the vehicle either directly through the transmission like any other car, or gas engine recharges the batteries depending on the conditions.

  4. Catholic, Lutheran, even the Baptists nuzzling the wolf! http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-documents-reveal-obama-hhs-paid-baptist-children-family-services-182129786-four-months-housing-illegal-alien-children/ YET where is the Progressivist outcry? Silent. I wonder why?

  5. Thank you, Honorable Ladies, and thank you, TIL, for this interesting interview. The most interesting question was the last one, which drew the least response. Could it be that NFP stamps are a threat to the very foundation of our common law American legal tradition, a throwback to the continental system that facilitated differing standards of justice? A throwback to Star Chamber’s protection of the landed gentry? If TIL ever again interviews this same panel, I would recommend inviting one known for voicing socio-legal dissent for the masses, maybe Welch, maybe Ogden, maybe our own John Smith? As demographics shift and our social cohesion precipitously drops, a consistent judicial core will become more and more important so that Justice and Equal Protection and Due Process are yet guiding stars. If those stars fall from our collective social horizon (and can they be seen even now through the haze of NFP opinions?) then what glue other than more NFP decisions and TRO’s and executive orders -- all backed by more and more lethally armed praetorians – will prop up our government institutions? And if and when we do arrive at such an end … will any then dare call that tyranny? Or will the cost of such dissent be too high to justify?

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