ILNews

Disciplinary Actions - Aug. 3, 2011

IL Staff
August 3, 2011
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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
Bruce A. Lambka of Lake County has been suspended from the practice of law for a period of not less than one year and six months, without automatic reinstatement. The suspension, filed in a Supreme Court order July 21, 2011, begins Sept. 2, 2011. Lambka stopped communicating with a client, resulting in the client’s failure to appear at court-ordered mediation and for trial. Judgment was ordered against the client, and he later received a notice of contempt.

The court found Lambka violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.3: Failure to act with reasonable diligence and promptness; and 8.4(d): Engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. The court also noted that he had a lengthy history of suspensions from practice.

Stephen P. Wolfe of Grant County has been suspended pendente lite from the practice of law, effective immediately. The suspension, filed in a Supreme Court order July 20, 2011, results from Wolfe being found guilty of three counts of Class D felony theft. Wolfe was already under a suspension for nonpayment of his annual registration fee.

Kristin R. Willadsen of Delaware County has been suspended from the practice of law for a period of 180 days, stayed subject to completion of two years of probation with Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program monitoring under terms and conditions set forth in a conditional agreement. In a Supreme Court order July 20, 2011, the effective date of the suspension, the court ordered the suspension for the violation of Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(b) which prohibits committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer.

Willadsen appeared in Knightstown Town Court on Nov. 11, 2010, where she slurred her speech and appeared unsteady on her feet. She was arrested for and pleaded guilty to public intoxication, and she later self-reported her arrest and conviction of the Class B misdemeanor to the commission.

James D. Nafe Jr. of St. Joseph County has been suspended from the practice of law for noncooperation with the commission’s investigation of a grievance filed against him, effective immediately. In a Supreme Court order July 20, 2011, the court directed that, pursuant to Admission and Discipline Rule 23(10)(f)(3), the suspension shall continue until: (1) the executive secretary of the disciplinary commission certifies to the court that Nafe has cooperated fully with the investigation; (2) the investigation or any disciplinary proceedings arising from the investigation are disposed of; or (3) until further order of the court, provided there are no other suspensions in effect.

Timothy D. Freeman of Marion County has been suspended from the practice of law for noncooperation with the commission’s investigation of a grievance filed against him, effective immediately. In a Supreme Court order July 19, 2011, the court directed that, pursuant to Admission and Discipline Rule 23(10)(f)(3), the suspension shall continue until: (1) the executive secretary of the disciplinary commission certifies to the court that Freeman has cooperated fully with the investigation; (2) the investigation or any disciplinary proceedings arising from the investigation are disposed of; or (3) until further order of the court, provided there are no other suspensions in effect.•
 

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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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