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Disciplinary Actions - 5/26

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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.

Suspensions

256 attorneys are suspended for failing pay the annual registration fee required to be licensed to practice law in Indiana or to file an exemption affidavit as contemplated by Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 2, according to a May 14, 2010, Supreme Court order. The order also suspended certain attorneys who failed to comply with the continuing legal education requirements of Admission and Discipline Rule 29, Sections 3 or 10.

Although the suspension is effective on the date of the order for purposes of reinstatement procedures, the proscription against the actual practice of law will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. June 7, 2010. The delay will allow time for copies of the order to be sent, received, and acted upon by suspended attorneys.

To be reinstated, an attorney must comply with applicable reinstatement procedures and by paying any applicable penalties. The reinstatement procedure for nonpayment of attorney fees is in Ind. Admis. and Disc. R. 2(h). The reinstatement procedure for failure to comply with continuing legal education requirements in found in Ind. Admis. and Disc. R. 29, Section 10(b).

If the Disciplinary Commission decided sufficient reasons existed to grant requests for extensions of time in which to comply with the continuing legal education requirements, those attorneys’ names were not included in the order, the court noted.

The list can be found at www.in.gov/judiciary/orders/other.

Public reprimand
Stacy L. Kelley of Marion County has been publicly reprimanded, according to a May 7, 2010, Supreme Court order approving statement of circumstances and conditional agreement for discipline.

Kelley violated Ind. Prof. Cond. R. 8.4(g).

In June 2008, Kelley began receiving on her unlisted phone number persistent pre-recorded messages from a company seeking a person by the name of Kelley’s husband. She and her husband agreed that she would call the company at the toll-free number given in the messages. Accordingly, she called the number and spoke to a male representative of the company, identifying her husband as a client. Noting what she thought was a feminine-sounding voice, she gratuitously asked the company’s representative if he was “gay” or “sweet,” according to court documents. After the representative commented on the unprofessional nature of this inquiry, the phone conversation ended abruptly.

Mitigating facts are Kelley has no disciplinary history; she cooperated with the Disciplinary Commission; she has a history of providing service to the legal profession; her comments were made after enduring harassing phone calls to her home; and she demonstrated remorse by apologizing to the company representative.•

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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