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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. 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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