ILNews

Disciplinary Actions - 11/9/11

IL Staff
November 9, 2011
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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
Patrick V. Baker of Marion County has been suspended from the practice of law in Indiana for a period of not less than six months, without automatic reinstatement, beginning Nov. 25, 2011. An order from the Indiana Supreme Court Oct. 21, 2011, approved a statement of circumstances and conditional agreement for discipline and found Baker violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.4(b) failure to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit a client to make an informed decision; 1.5(a) making an agreement for, charging or collecting an unreasonable amount for expenses; 3.4(e) alluding to any matter in trial that the lawyer doesn’t reasonably believe will be supported by admissible evidence; 4.1(a) knowingly making a false statement of material fact or law to a third person in the course of representing a client; and 7.3(a) improperly soliciting employment in person from a person with whom the lawyer has no prior relationship when a significant motive is the lawyer’s pecuniary gain. Baker in 2006 visited an incarcerated man who’d been indicted for murder and agreed to represent him pro bono, despite a public defender already being appointed. Baker made opening statements about the police investigation that were false and the court found he should have known the evidence wouldn’t support the statements. After the man was found guilty and sentenced to 65 years, Baker agreed to represent him pro bono on appeal. The lawyer told the man’s mother the trial court would pay the copying and filing costs, even though he hadn’t requested funds from the court. He also gave the man’s mother briefs that weren’t properly file-stamped or had grammatical errors, and Baker convinced the mother to pay $1,500 to cover the copying and filing costs. The parties found aggravating factors: Baker’s misconduct was motivated by selfishness because he expected publicity from the case would lead to an increase in business; that he victimized three vulnerable people involved in the case; and Baker made multiple ethical violations and demonstrated a gross disregard for the professional conduct rules.

Suspension Terminated
Jacob A. Atanga of Marion County had his suspension from the practice of law for failure to cooperate in a disciplinary case terminated by the Supreme Court, as of Oct. 21, 2011. He was suspended in August for non-cooperation.

Deborah D. Kubley of Monroe County had her suspension from the practice of law for failure to cooperate in a disciplinary case terminated by the Supreme Court, as of Oct. 17, 2011. She was suspended in December 2010 for noncooperation.•
 

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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