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Disciplinary Actions - 5/12

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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

James R. Recker II
of Marion County is suspended from the practice of law in Indiana for no less than one year without automatic reinstatement, according to a May 3, 2010, Supreme Court order approving statement of circumstances and conditional agreement for discipline. The sanction is retroactive to March 28, 2009, which is the effective date of Recker’s interim suspension. The court noted that regardless of the expiration date, Recker shall be ineligible to petition for reinstatement until he completes his executed criminal sentence.

He was suspended for violating Ind. Prof. Cond. R. 8.4(b).

The court noted that for Recker’s “serious and serial misconduct” the suspension imposed would have been longer had there been no agreement. If Recker petitions for reinstatement, the court wrote it would be granted only if he meets stringent requirements to prove that his rehabilitation is complete and he can safely re-enter the legal profession, and will likely be granted only with the involvement and monitoring of the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program.

On Jan. 4, 2008, Recker was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class D felony, and with being a habitual substance offender. On Dec. 17, 2008, he pleaded guilty to OWI as a Class D felony with a habitual offender enhancement. He was sentenced to 1,095 days on the felony conviction, with 180 days executed followed by 365 days of probation on home detention with electronic monitoring. He also received an additional 1,095 days, all executed, as a habitual offender enhancement.

Recker’s disciplinary history includes an incident March 27, 2003, for which he was convicted of OWI, a Class C misdemeanor; and OWI while endangering a person, a Class A misdemeanor. Based on an incident June 9, 2005, he entered a plea of guilty to OWI, a Class D felony. On July 24, 2006, the Supreme Court approved a conditional agreement under which he received a six-month suspension, stayed upon 12 months probation with monitoring by the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program. See Matter of Recker, 851 N.E.2d 295 (Ind. 2006). Chief Justice Shepard dissented in that matter, believing one year probation was inadequate.

The parties cite Recker’s disciplinary history as an aggravating factor. In mitigation, his misconduct was not directly related to his practice of law, he has expressed remorse, he cooperated with the Disciplinary Commission, and “he has sought treatment to recover from his alcoholism and is currently abstinent from alcohol.”•
 

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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