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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. 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! :)

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