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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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