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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. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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