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Disciplinary Actions - 12/22/10

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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.

Resignation
D. Charles Gantz of Johnson County resigned from the Indiana bar, pursuant to Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 23(17). The resignation was accepted in a Supreme Court order filed Dec. 3, 2010, and is effective immediately. Gantz is ineligible to petition for reinstatement to the practice of law for five years. Approval of a petition for reinstatement is discretionary and requires clear and convincing evidence of his remorse, rehabilitation, and fitness to practice law.

Public reprimand
Hiroaki Nishikawara of Marion County received a public reprimand in a Supreme Court order filed Dec. 3, 2010, for violating Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(b) which prohibits committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer. On Feb. 27, Nishikawara entered into a plea agreement under which he admitted to a charge of patronizing a prostitute, a Class A misdemeanor, and executed an Agreement to Withhold Prosecution. The agreement required him to comply with conditions including completion of six hours of community service and attendance at a Patronizing Impact Panel. The order stated that Nishikawara completed those requirements, cooperated with the commission, and has no prior criminal or disciplinary history.

Reinstatement
Douglass O. Beerbower of Allen County has been reinstated to the practice of law in Indiana by a Supreme Court order filed Dec. 10, 2010. Beerbower is subject to probation of at least three years on the conditions that he continue his participation in JLAP and that he has no violations of his JLAP agreement, the law, or the Rules of Professional Conduct. He was suspended for a minimum of two years in 2007 when he was incarcerated for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.•

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