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Disciplinary Actions - 7/20/11

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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
Kevin B. Relphorde of Lake County has been suspended from the practice of law in Indiana for a period of not less than 180 days, without automatic reinstatement. The suspension, filed in a Supreme Court order June 30, 2011, begins Aug. 5, 2011. While representing a client in a public defender capacity, Relphorde accepted $1,000 from the client’s father. He has a history of prior discipline, including the same type of misconduct addressed here. Relphorde violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 1.11(d) which prohibits negotiating for private employment in a matter in which the lawyer was participating as a public employee or officer.

Stacy H. Sheedy of Marion County has been suspended from the practice of law, effective immediately. In a Supreme Court order filed June 30, 2011, Sheedy was suspended for noncooperation with the Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission. Pursuant to Admission and Discipline Rule 23(10)(f)(3), the suspension shall continue until the executive secretary of the disciplinary commission certifies to the court that Sheedy has cooperated fully with the investigation, the investigation or any disciplinary proceedings arising from the investigation are disposed of, or until further order of the Supreme Court.

Jerry T. Drook of Grant County has been suspended from the practice of law for 30 days with automatic reinstatement. The suspension, filed in a Supreme Court order June 29, 2011, begins Aug. 10, 2011. While visiting a client awaiting trial for the murder of his wife, Drook gave the client candy and written material that had not been authorized by the jail authorities. Drook was charged with two counts of trafficking with an inmate. The disciplinary action is based on a violation of 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.

Andrew E. Clark of Marion County has had a suspension currently in effect for noncooperation with the disciplinary process, ordered on Nov. 3, 2010, converted to an indefinite suspension. The Supreme Court order, filed on June 30, 2011, was effective immediately. To be readmitted to the practice of law in Indiana, the order said that Clark must cure the causes of all suspensions in effect and successfully petition this court for reinstatement pursuant to Admission and Discipline Rule 23(4) and (18).•

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  1. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  2. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  3. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  4. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  5. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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