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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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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