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IBA: Online Activity Part of Ethics Discussion

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Lawyers who tend to be more cautious in person appear to be exercising judgment online that is landing them in trouble with disciplinary officials, according to the American Bar Association and the National Law Journal.

James Grogan, chief counsel of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, recalled a case that gained the attention of bar counsel in more than one state. Steven Belcher, a temporary lawyer at a St. Louis law firm who was licensed in three states, was helping defend a wrongful death case when he decided to e-mail a picture of the deceased to a friend, the story says. The body of the overweight man was pictured lying naked on an emergency room table. Belcher added his own commentary.

The result was a 60-day suspension, the story says. “It got our eyebrows up,” Grogan told the National Law Journal. “We thought, ‘Wow, are we going to see more of these?’ Well, I think it’s clear we are starting to see more.”

The story notes an increase in interest in such issues.

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At the upcoming Bench Bar Conference Kevin McGoff of Bingham McHale will present an ethics seminar touching on these concerns as well as many others. Known for its substantive content and the entertaining format with which it’s presented, this ethics program is among the best presented by the Indianapolis Bar Association each year. To learn more about the Bench Bar Conference log on to www.indybenchbar.org.

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  1. I need an experienced attorney to handle a breach of contract matter. Kindly respond for more details. Graham Young

  2. I thought the slurs were the least grave aspects of her misconduct, since they had nothing to do with her being on the bench. Why then do I suspect they were the focus? I find this a troubling trend. At least she was allowed to keep her law license.

  3. Section 6 of Article I of the Indiana Constitution is pretty clear and unequivocal: "Section 6. No money shall be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious or theological institution."

  4. Video pen? Nice work, "JW"! Let this be a lesson and a caution to all disgruntled ex-spouses (or soon-to-be ex-spouses) . . . you may think that altercation is going to get you some satisfaction . . . it will not.

  5. First comment on this thread is a fitting final comment on this thread, as that the MCBA never answered Duncan's fine question, and now even Eric Holder agrees that the MCBA was in material error as to the facts: "I don't get it" from Duncan December 1, 2014 5:10 PM "The Grand Jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony according to this article and they made a decision that no crime occurred. On what basis does the MCBA conclude that their decision was "unjust"? What special knowledge or evidence does the MCBA have that the Grand Jury hearing this matter was unaware of? The system that we as lawyers are sworn to uphold made a decision that there was insufficient proof that officer committed a crime. How can any of us say we know better what was right than the jury that actually heard all of the the evidence in this case."

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