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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. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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