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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. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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