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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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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