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Disciplinary Actions 8/28/13

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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
Douglas S. Followell, of Sullivan, has been suspended from the practice of law for a period of not less than 150 days, without automatic reinstatement, beginning Sept. 27, 2013.

Followell was on probation imposed by the Indiana Supreme Court in 2009, with monitoring by the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, as a result of his conviction of three alcohol-related crimes that year. The court order provided that violation of the probation would result in the commission filing a motion to revoke the probation and request that Followell actively serve a 180-day suspension (30 days actively served) that had been stayed subject to the completion of probation. In May 2012, Followell was convicted of driving under the influence in Florida. On May 9, the commission filed a verified motion to revoke Followell’s probation, pursuant to Admission and Discipline Rule 23(17.2)(a), asserting his arrest and conviction violated the conditions of his probation.

Jeremy S. Brenman, of Bloomington, has been suspended from the practice of law, effective immediately, for noncooperation with the Disciplinary Commission. On May 2, the Indiana Supreme Court ordered Brenman, who is already under suspension orders, to show cause why he should not be suspended for failure to cooperate with the investigation of a grievance filed against him. Brenman did not respond within 10 days of service of the order. The order also includes reimbursement to the commission of $512.22 by Brenman for the costs of prosecuting the proceeding.

Patricia S. Beecher, of Gary, has been suspended from the practice of law, effective immediately, due to disability, pursuant to Admission and Discipline Rule 23(25). In addition to the Verified Petition to Determine Disability submitted by the Disciplinary Commission prior to suspension, Beecher had submitted an Affidavit of Consent to Disability Suspension.

Dan J. May, of Kokomo, has been suspended from the practice of law for 60 days, beginning Sept. 27, 2013. At the conclusion of the suspension, provided there are no other suspensions in effect, May will be automatically reinstated, subject to the conditions of Admission and Discipline Rule 23(4)(c). Costs of the proceeding are also assessed against May.

The suspension stems from May’s actions following a hearing in a divorce case. He grabbed his client by the arms, pushing him in a way that caused him to be bent backward over the courtroom rail. May was charged with battery and entered into a pre-trial diversion agreement with the prosecutor.

Resignation
The resignation from the Indiana bar of Shane E. Beal, of Marion, has been accepted, effective immediately, by the Indiana Supreme Court. Beal is ineligible to petition for reinstatement for five years from the Aug. 14, 2013, order date. The order states that the egregious misconduct charged in the verified complaint would have resulted in permanent disbarment had Beal not chosen voluntary resignation from the bar, and if he seeks reinstatement the misconduct admitted in his affidavit of resignation, as well as any other allegations of misconduct, will be addressed in the reinstatement process.

Any attorney disciplinary proceedings pending against Beal were dismissed as moot because of his resignation, and the costs of the proceeding are assessed against him.

The resignation from the Indiana bar of William R. Wallace III, of Princeton, has been accepted, effective immediately, by the Indiana Supreme Court. Wallace is ineligible to petition for reinstatement for five years from the Aug. 14, 2013, order date. The order states that the egregious misconduct charged in the verified complaint would have resulted in permanent disbarment had Wallace not chosen voluntary resignation from the bar, and if he seeks reinstatement the misconduct admitted in his affidavit of resignation, as well as any other allegations of misconduct, will be addressed in the reinstatement process.

Any attorney disciplinary proceedings pending against Wallace were dismissed as moot because of his resignation, and the costs of the proceeding are assessed against him.•
 

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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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