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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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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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