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Disciplinary Commission seeks agency head

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Indiana needs a new face for lawyer discipline, and applications are being accepted from anyone interested in the job.

The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission is accepting applications through Jan. 29, 2010, for the executive secretary post, which is being vacated at the end of this year. Current executive secretary Don Lundberg announced last month that he's leaving the position he's held since December 1991. At the start of the year, he'll become a partner and deputy general counsel at Barnes & Thornburg in Indianapolis.

As administrative head of the agency responsible for investigating and prosecuting claims of lawyer misconduct, the executive secretary supervises a staff of 15 that includes 11 attorneys, an investigator, and part-time law student clerks and support staff. The agency investigates roughly 16,000 grievances each year and prosecutes a percentage of that total. The executive secretary also acts as chief legal counsel to the nine-member commission, and handles occasional trial work.

"This is a key job for the legal community," said Indianapolis attorney Sally Franklin Zweig, immediate past chair of the nine-member commission. "It is a position that works to maintain the credibility of lawyers as an honored profession. Consumer protection is a central part of that role and the executive secretary also has the opportunity to help assure that the community at large will have confidence in the lawyer discipline process."

The commission is doing a "broad" search, which means it is prepared to look inside and outside of Indiana, according to Zweig. Candidates should have at least 10 years of law practice experience, and must be admitted to practice in Indiana or be eligible for immediate admission. The current compensation is $115,000, and benefits include health, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance, as well as participation in the Indiana Public Employees Retirement Fund's benefit pension plan.

Applications will be posted online at the Commission's Web site at www.in.gov/judiciary/discipline, where more information about the agency is also available. Applicants can download applications and send to: Confidential Applications c/o Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, 30 S. Meridian St., Suite 850, Indianapolis, IN 46204. All applications will be confidential.

Once applications are received, the Disciplinary Commission expects to review those as quickly as possible and discuss the issue at its February meeting, Zweig said. The commission will recommend finalists for consideration to the Indiana Supreme Court, which makes the ultimate decision on the appointment. No timeline exists for that to happen.

The commission plans to discuss the issue of an interim executive secretary at its next meeting on Dec. 11, Zweig said.

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