Complaint reignites debate

December 19, 2008
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At the end of October, I wrote about Indianapolis defense attorney Bob Hammerle filing a complaint with the Disciplinary Commission regarding television ads run by Attorney General Republican candidate Greg Zoeller. Hammerle has since heard back and I thought you’d like to know what the outcome of his complaint was, seeing that Zoeller will be our new attorney general.

Hammerle recently sent us the response from the Disciplinary Commission, which did not find an appropriate basis for formal action. Donald Lundberg noted that it would be difficult to punish Zoeller’s campaign speech in the ads aimed at Democratic opponent Linda Pence because it deals with public affairs and political discourse, which is at the heart of the First Amendment.

Lundberg did say in the letter that Hammerle’s complaint about the ads touched on a debate that’s happened in the legal community for years – should attorneys be judged by the clients they keep?

In theory, the answer is no, but in practice, some people’s opinions of certain attorneys may be defined by the clients they represent. Lundberg sees this debate as more of a philosophical one than one as foundation for disciplinary actions. Because this has been such an ongoing topic in legal ethics, we think the idea deserves a closer look. Indiana Lawyer reporter Michael Hoskins is going to explore this issue in a future issue of the paper. I’ll let you know when it will be published.
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  • good article, issue of concern
    The state bars have gone way to far towards punishing lawyers for polically incorrect speech. In Re Campiti mocks the First Amendment. This rule needs to be shoved back hard. Luncbergs recent article in Res Gestae was instructive but this trend is BAAAD for lawyers and free speech.

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  1. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. 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.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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