Disciplinary Actions – 4/6/2016

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.

License revocation
The Indiana Supreme Court revoked Mishawaka attorney Adam J. Speraw’s conditional license to practice law on March 21. He was conditionally admitted to the Indiana Bar in October 2010 pursuant to an agreement that he refrain from having any alcohol-related incidents. In July 2012, he crashed his car while driving intoxicated and later pleaded guilty to reckless driving. He also failed to report the incident to the State Board of Law Examiners as required. Speraw is ineligible for readmission for 18 months.

Public reprimand
Lake County attorney P. Jeffrey Schlesinger received a public reprimand from the Supreme Court March 21 for continuing to invoke the outdated “manifestly unreasonable” standard in appeals after Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B) changed that standard to “inappropriate” in 2003. He was warned in at least three appeals by the Court of Appeals to cite the correct standard, but failed to heed the warnings. Schlesinger, who worked as an appellate public defender, was suspended without pay from his employment following a fourth appeal before the COA.

Marion County attorney Michael C. Bratcher has been suspended, effective March 21, for lying on his law school applications and Indiana and Illinois Bar admission applications regarding a citation he received for retail theft in Wisconsin as an undergraduate student. The parties cite his pattern of misconduct and dishonest or selfish motive as facts in aggravation and his lack of prior discipline, self-reporting to the commission and law schools he attended, and his loss of employment following the revelation of his falsehoods as facts in mitigation. The suspension is without automatic reinstatement, to which Justice Dickson dissented, believing Bratcher should be precluded from seeking reinstatement.•

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