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.
Jeffrey P. Ayers, of Marion County, has been fined $500 after the Indiana Supreme Court found him in contempt for practicing law while suspended for continuing legal education noncompliance. He claimed that he sent a letter to the Disciplinary Commission asking for an extension of time to complete his CLE requirements and pay the necessary fees, but he sent this letter more than six months after the applicable compliance date and after he was already suspended by the court. Ayers has 60 days from Feb. 1 to pay the fine.
John M. Hughes, of Lake County, has been fined $500 after the Indiana Supreme Court found him in contempt for practicing law after he resigned from the bar in 2006. He sent correspondences in which he identified himself as “esquire” and “in house counsel” for a construction company and threatened legal action regarding a mechanic’s lien. Hughes has 60 days from Feb. 1 to pay the fine.
Eduardo Fontanez Jr., of Lake County, has been publicly reprimanded for failing to apprise a client of the status of a tort action against the city of Hammond or respond to the client’s request for information. The parties agree that he violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.1, failure to provide competent representation; 1.3, failure to act with reasonable diligence and promptness; and 1.5, failure to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and respond promptly to reasonable requests for information. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against him.
Gene Emmons, of Warrick County, has been suspended for noncooperation with the Disciplinary Commission’s investigation into a grievance. The suspension took effect Jan. 25. Emmons was already suspended as ordered in a separate disciplinary action. He is also ordered to reimburse the Disciplinary Commission $520.22 in costs of prosecuting the proceeding.•