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Fort Wayne attorney disbarred for fund mismanagement

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A Fort Wayne attorney who repeatedly failed to cooperate in a disciplinary action has been disbarred for mismanagement of his trust account and converting client funds.

The justices of the Indiana Supreme Court disbarred Donald Edward James Tuesday after previously suspending him in January for failing to respond to a September 2016 show cause order related to two disciplinary cases.

In the per curiam opinion, the justices wrote that James’ disciplinary trouble began in July 2016 when the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission first filed a disciplinary complaint against him. The disciplinary complaint stemmed from James’ conduct in 2015, when he “significantly overdrew his attorney trust account on three occasions, regularly commingled personal funds with client funds, made unauthorized cash and check withdrawals from the trust account for his own personal purposes, and failed to maintain adequate trust account records.”

James largely failed to cooperate with the investigation into his misconduct, the justices wrote, and did not participate in any of the disciplinary proceedings. As aggravating factors, the hearing officer cited James’ “dishonest and selfish motive,” his multiple offenses, the criminal nature of his misconduct, his deceptive practices during the investigation and his refusal to acknowledge the wrongfulness of his actions.

The hearing officer recommended that James be disbarred, and after finding that he had violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.15(a), 8.1(b), 8.4(b) and (c) and Indiana Admission and Discipline Rules 23(29)(a)(2), (3) and (4), the high court justices agreed, effective immediately. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against James.
 

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  1. Unlike the federal judge who refused to protect me, the Virginia State Bar gave me a hearing. After the hearing, the Virginia State Bar refused to discipline me. VSB said that attacking me with the court ADA coordinator had, " all the grace and charm of a drive-by shooting." One does wonder why the VSB was able to have a hearing and come to that conclusion, but the federal judge in Indiana slammed the door of the courthouse in my face.

  2. I agree. My husband has almost the exact same situation. Age states and all.

  3. Thanks Jim. We surprised ourselves with the first album, so we did a second one. We are releasing it 6/30/17 at the HiFi. The reviews so far are amazing! www.itsjustcraig.com Skope Mag: It’s Just Craig offers a warm intimacy with the tender folk of “Dark Corners”. Rather lovely in execution, It’s Just Craig opts for a full, rich sound. Quite ornate instrumentally, the songs unfurl with such grace and style. Everything about the album feels real and fully lived. By far the highlight of the album are the soft smooth reassuring vocals whose highly articulate lyrics have a dreamy quality to them. Stories emerge out of these small snapshots of reflective moments.... A wide variety of styles are utilized, with folk anchoring it but allowing for chamber pop, soundtrack work, and found electronics filtering their way into the mix. Without a word, It’s Just Craig sets the tone of the album with the warble of “Intro”. From there things get truly started with the hush of “Go”. Building up into a great structure, “Go” has a kindness to it. Organs glisten in the distance on the fragile textures of “Alone” whose light melody adds to the song’s gorgeousness. A wonderful bloom of color defines the spaciousness of “Captain”. Infectious grooves take hold on the otherworldly origins of “Goodnight” with precise drum work giving the song a jazzy feeling. Hazy to its very core is the tragedy of “Leaving Now”. By far the highlight of the album comes with the closing impassioned “Thirty-Nine” where many layers of sound work together possessing a poetic quality.

  4. Andrew, if what you report is true, then it certainly is newsworthy. If what you report is false, then it certainly is newsworthy. Any journalists reading along??? And that same Coordinator blew me up real good as well, even destroying evidence to get the ordered wetwork done. There is a story here, if any have the moxie to go for it. Search ADA here for just some of my experiences with the court's junk yard dog. https://www.scribd.com/document/299040062/Brown-ind-Bar-memo-Pet-cert Yep, drive by shootings. The lawyers of the Old Dominion got that right. Career executions lacking any real semblance of due process. It is the ISC way ... under the bad shepard's leadership ... and a compliant, silent, boot-licking fifth estate.

  5. Journalism may just be asleep. I pray this editorial is more than just a passing toss and turn. Indiana's old boy system of ruling over attorneys is cultish. Unmask them oh guardians of democracy.

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