ILNews

Disciplinary Actions -3/2/12

IL Staff
February 29, 2012
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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
Kenneth D. Faw, of Fayette County, has received a public reprimand by the Indiana Supreme Court, per a Feb. 15, 2012, order. Faw, as prosecutor of Fayette County, decided to personally handle a matter involving the arrest of the husband of a prosecutor’s office employee instead of appointing a special prosecutor. Faw spoke to the officer who arrested the husband for theft and no criminal charges were filed.

Faw has no disciplinary history, was cooperative with the Disciplinary Commission, and is remorseful. The justices issued the public reprimand for violating Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 1.7(a)(2), which prohibits representing a client (the state) when the representation may be materially limited by the attorney’s own self-interest or the attorney’s responsibilities to a third person.

Suspension
Jacob A. Atanga, of Marion County, has been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court, effective immediately, per a Feb. 15, 2012, order. On Nov. 22, 2011, the Supreme Court ordered Atanga to show cause why he shouldn’t be immediately suspended for failure to cooperate with the Disciplinary Commission’s investigation of a grievance filed against him.

He has been suspended for noncooperation with the commission, which will continue until further order of the Supreme Court. The justices ordered he reimburse the commission $505.79 for costs in prosecuting the matter.

Deborah S.D. Julian, of Johnson County, has been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court, effective immediately, per a Feb. 15, 2012, order. On Dec. 20, 2011, the Supreme Court ordered Julian to show cause as to why she shouldn’t be immediately suspended for failure to cooperate with the Disciplinary Commission’s investigation into a grievance filed against her. She has been suspended for noncooperation with the commission, which will continue until the Disciplinary Commission verifies that she has fully cooperated with the investigation; the investigation or any disciplinary proceedings arising from the investigation are disposed of; or until further order of the Supreme Court. The justices ordered she reimburse the commission $523.21 for costs in prosecuting the matter.

Resignation
Neil E. Holbrook, of St. Joseph County, has resigned from the bar, effectively immediately. The justices accepted the resignation in a Feb. 15, 2012, order. Any pending attorney disciplinary proceedings have been dismissed as moot.

Thomas F. Lewis III, of St. Joseph County, has resigned from the bar, effective immediately. The justices accepted the resignation in a Feb. 15, 2012, order. Any pending attorney disciplinary proceedings have been dismissed as moot.•

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  • disproportionate ??
    Is it my imagination or do lawyers in St Joe county get censored a lot? Marion county must have at least ten times the lawyers and about the same number of headlines. I'm a fan of St Joe county btw, jest wondering if there's a tendency downstate to want to spank people up here more often??? I suppose if we knew the number of complaints filed per county and could compare it to lawyer population that would be interesting. is there any such info published ??

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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