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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. 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.

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

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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