Ethics & Professional Responsibility

Prosecutors say ethics rules limit release of police body camera video

June 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
While it was being considered in the Statehouse, Indiana’s police body camera law brought a lot of public interest and at times public outcry. But as the new measure gets ready for action, prosecutors say the Rules of Professional Conduct restrict them from releasing the recordings.
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Park Tudor scandal reignites debate about lawyers reporting child abuse

March 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
Charges that former Park Tudor basketball coach and teacher Kyle Cox attempted to coerce and entice a 15-year-old student into a sexual relationship — and an attorney’s alleged actions after learning of the accusations — have refocused attention on a 2015 advisory ethics opinion that largely exempts lawyers from a law that requires reporting suspected child abuse.
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Bell/Whelan: 3 things to know about civility and discipline

December 30, 2015
James Bell, Jessica Whelan
As it turns out, acting in a civil manner is not just a way of being polite, or being a good advocate or a way to make the profession look good. In fact, being uncivil in and of itself can lead to disciplinary sanctions.
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Figuring out flat fees

November 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
A recent Indiana State Bar Association Legal Ethics Committee opinion says lawyers who charge clients flat fees considered earned on receipt shouldn’t deposit the fees in their Interest on Lawyer Trust Account, but should put the money in the firm’s operating account. Some lawyers aren’t convinced this makes sense.
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Bell/Whelan: 3 things to know about reporting ethics violations

November 4, 2015
James Bell, Jessica Whelan
If you’re like us, you’re a lawyer who enjoys giving advice to others. As attorneys who represent other attorneys in disciplinary matters, we often receive requests to give ethics advice to lawyers. As luck would have it, we like lawyers and generally enjoy giving advice to lawyers when we can.
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Convicted sex offender seeks chance to take Ohio bar exam

October 13, 2015
 Associated Press
A former Army officer who served time in prison after repeatedly trying to meet girls for sex wants to become a lawyer, a move opposed by the legal profession, according to a case that has reached the state's highest court.
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Indiana lawyers say they're not bound to report child abuse

October 12, 2015
 Associated Press
Some child welfare officials say there could be dangerous fallout from an Indiana State Bar Association committee's opinion that lawyers aren't bound by a state law requiring anyone who suspects child abuse to immediately report it.
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3 things to know about the ethics of files

September 9, 2015
James Bell, Jessica Whelan
A formal opinion recently issued by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility sheds light on what materials belong to the client.
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Indiana officials issuing fewer waivers to state ethics law

August 17, 2015
 Associated Press
State records show that Indiana officials have been issuing fewer waivers that would let state employees take related jobs in the private sector before a yearlong wait.
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To dodge conflicts, make waivers specific

June 11, 2015
 Bloomberg News
Should law firms rethink their client engagement letters, and more specifically, the advance waiver clauses they include?
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Legislative Council assigns topics to summer committees

June 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a study to determine the appropriate number of courts in Pulaski County was not assigned to a summer interim committee, the Indiana Legislature may not be finished with making reductions in some state courts.
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Legislature turns to attorney to lead new ethics office

May 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A longtime legislative attorney has been tapped to lead the state’s new Office of Legislative Ethics.
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Bock receives award for anti-doping efforts

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
William Bock’s role in the Lance Armstrong doping investigation and others made him one of four people to receive an award from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy Center for the Public Trust recognizing ethical leadership in business and professional communities.
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Legal network to confer in Indianapolis

May 13, 2015
IL Staff
About 40 attorneys from midsized, general practice law firms around the country and a handful of global lawyers will gather for the Legal Netlink Alliance spring convention beginning Thursday in Indianapolis.
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Indiana lawmakers approve tougher ethics laws after lapses

April 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana legislators gave final approval Monday to a state ethics law overhaul that requires greater financial disclosure by lawmakers and expressly prohibits elected officials from using state resources for political purposes.
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Ethics reform bill moves out of committee

February 10, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana House committee has backed a state ethics law overhaul requiring greater financial disclosure by lawmakers and expressly prohibiting elected officials from using state resources for political purposes.
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House panel backs new rules after nursing home scandal

January 27, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana House committee has endorsed tighter rules on the conduct of lawmakers in the wake of an ethics investigation of a top Republican who fought privately to defeat legislation that would have hurt his family's business.
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Indiana ethics chief seeks changes after scandals

November 21, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana Inspector General David Thomas has published a series of ethics reforms, asking for improved disclosure and new rules for state officials after a trio of Statehouse scandals.
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Indiana panel not making ethics suggestions

October 21, 2014
 Associated Press
A state legislative panel isn't making any recommendations on ethics rule changes that the General Assembly is expected to consider during its upcoming session.
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Indiana ethics cases find frustration in lack of disclosure

August 4, 2014
 Associated Press
The three major ethics cases involving Indiana officials this year have one thread that ties them together: frustration from ethics watchdogs over a lack of disclosure and transparency.
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Ethics panel approves $5,000 fine against Bennett

July 10, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana's State Ethics Commission has approved a $5,000 fine against former state schools Superintendent Tony Bennett for using state resources in his 2012 campaign.
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Bosma: No ethics sanctions against Turner

June 18, 2014
 Associated Press
House Speaker Brian Bosma said Tuesday he will not sanction House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner after an ethics probe determined the lawmaker did not technically violate state ethics rules.
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‘Notre Dame 88’ lawyer cleared in discipline case

October 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
An attorney who argued that a judge’s bias warranted her recusal from a case involving pro-life students arrested for protesting the announcement of President Barack Obama’s appearance at the University of Notre Dame was cleared of disciplinary charges Tuesday.
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Trial court's suppression order binding to ethics commission

October 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
After turning to the Indiana State Ethics Commission when a trial court ordered the evidence in a theft case suppressed, the state was reminded it “does not get a second bite at the apple.”   
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Ex-IURC leader’s criminal charges dropped

August 12, 2013
Dave Stafford
The former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission won’t face trial on felony charges stemming from an ethics scandal at the agency, a judge ruled Monday.
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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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