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Justices fine Bloomington lawyer, suspend Indy attorney

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The Indiana Supreme Court has fined a Monroe County attorney for practicing law while suspended. This week, the justices also suspended an Indianapolis attorney who pleaded guilty to felony wire fraud.

The justices Monday found Bloomington attorney David E. Schalk in contempt. Schalk was suspended in May 2013 for at least nine months. He was convicted of Class A attempted possession of marijuana after trying to set up a drug buy in 2007 with state witnesses in his client’s trial for dealing in methamphetamine. Schalk wanted to prove a witness was still dealing drugs.

The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld his conviction in February 2011.

The Disciplinary Commission asserted in September 2013 that Schalk violated the suspension order by, among other things, representing two people in a guardianship proceeding. Schalk denied any misconduct.

Schalk worked on the matter before his suspension. Afterward, he filed documents in July and September 2013 purportedly as a pro se, pro bono litigant acting on behalf of the ward. He provided his attorney number under his signature line on the filings, did not withdraw his appearance on behalf of his clients, and he asserted he was acting on behalf of someone other than himself, the order notes.

For violating the suspension order, the justices imposed a $500 fine which must be paid within 60 days from Jan. 27.

On Monday, the justices also issued an order immediately suspending Indianapolis attorney Paul J. Page’s law license. Page, of Pittman & Page, pleaded guilty in 2013 to one count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana. He agreed to testify if called against co-defendants John M. Bales, a real estate broker, and Bales partner William E. Spencer in a Northern District case.

A 14-count indictment in South Bend alleged Page, Bales and Spencer defrauded the state and a bank over their purchase of a building in Elkhart and a subsequent lease deal with the state's Department of Child Services. A jury found Bales and Spencer not guilty.

Page was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for concealing the source of a $362,000 down payment on his purchase of the state-leased office building in Elkhart.

Page, also a developer, filed personal bankruptcy earlier this month.

Because of the felony conviction, the Disciplinary Commission asked the justices to enter the interim suspension. It shall continue until further order of the court or final resolution of any resulting disciplinary action.

Justice Mark Massa did not participate in the disciplinary order.

 

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  1. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  2. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  3. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  4. Different rules for different folks....

  5. I would strongly suggest anyone seeking mediation check the experience of the mediator. There are retired judges who decide to become mediators. Their training and experience is in making rulings which is not the point of mediation.

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