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Justices disbar Evansville attorney

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The Indiana Supreme Court has disbarred an Evansville attorney who pleaded guilty in 2011 to Class D felony theft for exercising unauthorized control over more than $17,000 that belonged to 24 current or former clients.

Douglas Patterson has a history of disciplinary action. In 2008, he was suspended for three years after he wrote unauthorized checks totaling $10,500 on the firm’s trust account. He lied to the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission during the investigation and hearing. While suspended, he was found in contempt in 2009 for practicing and fined $500.

Last year, Patterson pleaded guilty to three counts of Class D felony theft and received an interim suspension from the Supreme Court, which is still in effect. His disbarment comes after the disciplinary commission charged Patterson in November 2011 with violating Indiana Professional Conduct rules 8.4(b), committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer; and 8.4(c), engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.

Patterson received an aggregate three year sentence, with one year executed, for the theft convictions.

The justices in the per curiam opinion, In the Matter of: Douglas W. Patterson, 82S00-1111-DI-662, found Patterson’s conduct warrants immediate disbarment.

 

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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