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Disciplinary Actions - 11/5/14

November 5, 2014

The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission brings charges against attorneys who have violated the state’s rules for admission to the bar and Rules of Professional Conduct. The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications brings charges against judges, judicial officers, or judicial candidates for misconduct. Details of attorneys’ and judges’ actions for which they are being disciplined by the Supreme Court will be included unless they are not a matter of public record under the court’s rules.

Public reprimand
Robert E. Love, of Allen County, was publicly reprimanded by the Indiana Supreme Court, per an Oct. 23 order. His discipline is based on two counts of failing to initially comply with requests from the Disciplinary Commission in investigating two grievances. Both cases were eventually dismissed as moot. The justices found he violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 8.1(b) and 8.4(d). The costs of the proceeding are assessed against Love.

Suspension
Marietto V. Massillamany, of Marion County, has been suspended for six months, with 120 days actively served and the remainder stayed subject to completion of at least three years of probation under a JLAP long-term monitoring program, per an Oct. 20 order. Finds Massillamany violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 8.1(a), 8.1(b) and 8.4(b) based on his arrests for alcohol-related offenses. He pleaded guilty in April to Class D felony OWI with a prior conviction within five years and reported the conviction to the Disciplinary Commission. The order says he failed to report on his 2003 application to the bar a 1996 Class C misdemeanor charge of minor in a tavern, but he did report a 2000 misdemeanor conviction for operating a vehicle with a BAC equivalent to 0.08 and 0.25. Massillamany was previously publicly reprimanded after pleading guilty in 2010 to Class A misdemeanor OWI endangering a person.

His suspension begins Dec. 1, and the costs of the proceeding are assessed against him.

Charles E. Cohen, of Marion County, has been suspended for 90 days beginning Dec. 1, per an Oct. 20 order. Cohen worked for Eli Lilly & Co. for 10 years. In 2009, while preparing to leave his job with the company, he copied to discs documents and forms that are the property of Lilly and considered confidential and removed them from the premises.

The justices found he violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 8.4(c) and 1.16(d). They noted that Cohen did not intend to harm Lilly and returned the discs to the company upon request. He believed the information on the discs was already in the public domain or would become public in the near future. His actions led to Lilly revoking a substantial severance payment.

The costs of the proceeding are assessed against him.

Douglas L. Krasnoff, of Marion County, was suspended Oct. 20 for failure to pay costs ordered in connection to a disciplinary action. Krasnoff was supposed to pay the assessed costs by Oct. 1 and is in violation of Indiana Admission and Discipline Rules 23(10)f(f)(5) or 23(16). Krasnoff did not file a response to the commission’s petition for suspension.

Diane R. Hurtt, of Tippecanoe County, was suspended Oct. 24 by the Indiana Supreme Court for 180 days, beginning Dec. 5. Hurtt, who was assigned to represent parents in one case alleging child in need of services, a termination of parental rights case following the CHINS case, and two separate TPR rulings, did not appeal adverse rulings as requested by the parents in these cases. Justices found she violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.3 and 1.4(a)(3). The order notes Hurtt was undergoing therapy for emotional and mental stress at the time and has no prior discipline.

Her suspension includes 90 days actively served and the remainder stayed subject to completion of at least two years of probation with Judges and Lawyers Assistance monitoring. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against Hurtt. Chief Justice Loretta Rush did not participate, and Justice Steven David dissented, believing the agreed discipline is inadequate for the admitted misconduct.

Resignation
Robert B. Bush, of Johnson County, has resigned from the bar, effective immediately, per an Oct. 20 order. His resignation required an acknowledgement that the material facts alleged in a disciplinary complaint are true and he could not successfully defend himself if prosecuted. He must wait five years from the date of the order to petition for reinstatement, if desired. Chief Justice Loretta Rush did not participate.•

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