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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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

    2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

    3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

    4. I am sorry to hear this.

    5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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