Disciplinary Actions – 6/3/15

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.

Terminated Suspension

The Indiana Supreme Court terminated the suspension of David Layson, of Harrison County, on May 8 for cooperating with the Disciplinary Commission in an investigation. Layson had been suspended for noncooperation.

Thomas R. Philpot, of Lake County, was suspended from the practice of law for four years without automatic reinstatement, beginning May 19. The justices found he violated the Rules of Professional Conduct by committing crimes that reflect adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness and fitness as a lawyer. Philpot was convicted of mail fraud and theft for taking money for federally funded programs and paying himself bonuses while clerk of Lake County.

Diane R. Hurtt, of Tippecanoe County, has been suspended for at least 90 days, without automatic reinstatement, for accepting a new client while suspended. Her suspension begins June 25. Hurtt must also pay $500 for her contempt. Justice Steve David dissents and would impose more significant sanctions for her contempt; Chief Justice Loretta Rush did not participate.

Bruce N. Munson, of Delaware County, has been suspended for six months, beginning May 19, with the suspension stayed subject to completion of at least two years of probation. Munson made several cash withdrawals from his trust account and did not keep accurate records. There is no allegation that client funds were missing from the trust account.

Darren T. Cole, a Utah attorney, has been suspended indefinitely in Indiana after he was suspended for three years in Tennessee in February 2015.•

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