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Justices disbar attorney, threaten imprisonment for future violations

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An attorney who continued to practice law despite being suspended in Indiana has been disbarred by the Indiana Supreme Court for his “on-going, pervasive and deliberate” violations of the suspension order.

The justices handed down the disbarment in In the Matter of: Christopher E. Haigh, 98S00-0608-DI-317, which is effective Wednesday. Christopher Haigh must also pay a $1,000 fine for repeatedly practicing law, even though he knew he was suspended. He was suspended effective Aug. 15, 2008, after becoming sexually intimate with two minors on a team he coached; providing them alcohol; and falsely assuring their parents, their school and others that he had no inappropriate relationship with the teens.

Haigh never sought reinstatement and instead continued to practice and perform legal functions for clients. He was also admitted as an attorney at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the federal courts, which also suspended him after learning of the state suspension.

The per curiam opinion outlines Haigh’s actions in contempt of the suspension order, including performing significant legal work but holding himself out to be acting as a paralegal.

Haigh refused until the last day of his disciplinary hearings in this matter to acknowledge the wrongful nature of his conduct, the opinion notes.

“Respondent’s violation of the Suspension Order was on-going, pervasive, and deliberate, and it exposed the public to the danger of misconduct by an attorney who has yet to prove his remorse, rehabilitation, and fitness to practice law through the reinstatement process,” the justices wrote. “Under these circumstances, the Court concludes that a fine of $1,000.00 and disbarment is warranted. The Court cautions that any further contempt by Respondent will likely result in imposition of a period of imprisonment.”
 

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