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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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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