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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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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