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Justices bar Arizona lawyer due to advertising rule violations

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Out-of-state attorneys have received a fresh warning from the Indiana Supreme Court, one that specifically reiterates that everyone should know this state’s attorney advertising rules when promoting oneself as being “specialized” in a particular area of law or practicing with a “national firm.”

An Arizona lawyer who does national advertising spots received that warning in the form of a disciplinary action today, one that indefinitely bars him from practicing inside Indiana in any capacity, including temporary admission and soliciting clients.

The per curiam ruling came in the Matter of Joshua S. Parilman, No. 98S00-1012-DI-681, which involves a radio advertisement from the spring of 2010.

Hoosier radio stations broadcast an advertisement inviting listeners who might have been involved in auto accidents to contact Joshua Parilman, who practices in Arizona but isn’t licensed in Indiana. The advertisement said in part that, “Get protected with a national law firm that specializes in automobile accidents to protect your rights and stand up for you and your family.”

At least two Indiana residents responded to the ad, according to the Supreme Court ruling.

The justices noted that the lawyer’s only office is located in Phoenix and he’s not part of a national firm. He is not certified as a specialist in any field by Indiana or Arizona — neither state certifies lawyers in the area of “automobile accidents” as the ad claims. That was a violation of five Professional Conduct rules: 5.5(b)(2) that prohibits falsely representing that an attorney is admitted to practice in Indiana; 7.2(b) on using a public communication containing false, misleading, or deceptive statements; 7.2(c)(4) on making a statement about specialization when not authorized; 7.2(c)(6) on making statements that contain a representation or implication that would likely be misunderstood; and 7.4 on making a statement about specialization when not authorized.

Citing Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 30 on certification of attorney specialists, the justices noted that one of the purposes of that rule is to assure that lawyers making those claims are competent in a field of law and have met certain criteria showing that.

“An assertion by an attorney to be ‘specialized’ outside the narrow scope of this rule is contrary to the purpose of this rule and misleading,” the court wrote. “Similarly misleading is a statement to Indiana residents that an attorney is with a ‘national firm’ when the attorney’s only office is in a different state. All attorneys, including those from other states, are obligated to know and comply with this state’s ethical standards when advertising legal services to Indiana residents, whether by individualized contact, mass media, or anything in-between.”

Finding that Parilman has no disciplinary history and has cooperated with the Disciplinary Commission, the court approved the agreement the parties had reached about Parilman’s indefinite bar from Indiana practice. The sanction is similar to what other out-of-state attorneys have received in the past, and the court cited Matter of Coale, 775 N.E.2d 1079, 1085 (Ind. 2002).
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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