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Supreme Court disbars attorney

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Indiana Lawyer Disciplinary Actions


The Indiana Supreme Court disbarred a northern Indiana attorney April 1 for violating the terms of a previous suspension, entering into an improper business transaction with a client, and engaging in dishonest conduct.

The justices unanimously disbarred Rodney P. Sniadecki, a sole practitioner in Mishawaka and South Bend, adopting the hearing officer's findings and proposed discipline.

Sniadecki has been disbarred based on the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission's three-count verified complaint. Count I says he failed to obey suspension obligations by not notifying all his active clients of his October 2007 suspension, making a false compliance affidavit with the Indiana Supreme Court in regards to providing written notice, and he maintained a presence in his law office while he was suspended. The evidence shows Sniadecki even accepted new clients and represented them during his suspension.

Sniadecki directed his legal secretary to forge several documents and gave false sworn statements to the Disciplinary Commission during its investigation of the instant case.

Under Count II, Sniadecki conducted an improper business transaction with a client. He misrepresented to his client that his law office property was for sale, so they entered into an oral agreement for her to purchase the property. She gave him $180,000 in cash, but then changed her mind after Sniadecki said her request to fully inspect the property would "ruin everything." Sniadecki provided his client with a promissory note to repay the money, which he used to purchase another property for his law office, but he failed to set up a payment schedule. Sniadecki continued to represent her for several months after the transaction until she fired him.

The third count says Sniadecki falsified loan documents and committed attempted obstruction of justice when trying to get a loan to repay the client through mortgages on his current law office and new law office properties. Because his wife was the owner of the new property, Sniadecki had his legal secretary forge wage and tax documents to help him have the mortgage approved.

After the commission initiated an investigation of a grievance against Sniadecki pertaining to the falsified loan documents, he asked the loan originator working on the mortgage to take responsibility for the forged documents. Sniadecki offered him a position in his law office, but the loan originator refused.

The justices agreed with the hearing officer that the witnesses were more credible than Sniadecki in the investigation. Sniadecki is disbarred for violating Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 23(26); and Indiana Professional Rules of Conduct 1.8(a), 3.3(a), 3.4(c), 8.4(b), and 8.4(c). His disbarment is effective May 12.

Sniadecki was admitted to the bar in 1992. He was suspended in 2007 for having a sexual relationship with a client and initially lying to the commission about when it started; for hiring a suspended attorney to perform administrative, secretarial, and paralegal duties; and for representing a wife in a divorce action while still representing the wife and husband in a joint bankruptcy petition.

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  1. 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.

  2. Such is not uncommon on law school startups. Students and faculty should tap Bruce Green, city attorney of Lufkin, Texas. He led a group of studnets and faculty and sued the ABA as a law student. He knows the ropes, has advised other law school startups. Very astute and principled attorney of unpopular clients, at least in his past, before Lufkin tapped him to run their show.

  3. Not that having the appellate records on Odyssey won't be welcome or useful, but I would rather they first bring in the stray counties that aren't yet connected on the trial court level.

  4. Aristotle said 350 bc: "The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.

  5. Oh yes, lifetime tenure. The Founders gave that to the federal judges .... at that time no federal district courts existed .... so we are talking the Supreme Court justices only in context ....so that they could rule against traditional marriage and for the other pet projects of the sixties generation. Right. Hmmmm, but I must admit, there is something from that time frame that seems to recommend itself in this context ..... on yes, from a document the Founders penned in 1776: " He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

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