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Supreme Court disbars attorney

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A split Indiana Supreme Court voted to immediately disbar an Indianapolis attorney who pleaded guilty to one count of willfully making a false tax return. The two dissenting justices believed the attorney should be suspended for three years without automatic reinstatement.

In the case In the Matter of: Robert E. Lehman, No. 49S00-0808-DI-471, Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard and Justices Theodore Boehm and Brent Dickson voted to disbar Robert Lehman from the practice of law immediately. In 2008, Lehman was charged in federal court with three counts of understating his income on federal tax returns for 2002, 2003, and 2004. He pleaded guilty to one count, was fined $10,000 and sentenced to eight months in prison followed by one year of supervised release.

Lehman already has three disciplinary actions on his record from 1997, 2004, and 2007 for matters while representing clients or conduct at trial.

The high court found Lehman violated 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 in other respects; and 8.4(c), engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.

"Respondent pled guilty to a federal felony involving false swearing and misrepresentation, he acted out of a selfish motivation, and he has a substantial disciplinary history. In addition, he has neither challenged the hearing officer's report nor argued any mitigating facts. Under these circumstances, the Court concludes disbarment is warranted," the per curiam opinion stated.

Justices Frank Sullivan and Robert Rucker concurred with the majority, except they would impose a three-year suspension without automatic reinstatement.

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  • not a defense
    My post below was not a defense of Lehman, but rather a note that all, and esp the media, should pay close attention to those who are and are not disciplined or admitted in Indiana. It could be alleged that themes that emerge from a study are not in keeping witn due process, equal protection and constitutional governance. Such was my point above.
  • not a defense
    My post below was not a defense of Lehman, but rather a note that all, and esp the media, should pay close attention to those who are and are not disciplined or admitted in Indiana. It could be alleged that themes that emerge from a study are not in keeping witn due process, equal protection and constitutional governance. Such was my point above.
  • If Hoosier justice was done
    If Hoosier justice was done then those troublecausers who spoke out against Lois Lerner would be stripped of their ability to support their families and economically ruined. Who needs re-education camps when those who speak out against the kommisars can be ruined financially and thus made a public spectical for all other dissenters to gaze upon in horror? What the IRS needs to do is turn the tables on these tea party types and have a few show trials! (Too bad for the IRS that the US Constitution applies to whistleblowers, so Hoosier justice cannot be applied)

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    1. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

    2. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

    3. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

    4. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

    5. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

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