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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. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

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  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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