Disciplinary Actions - 11/02/16

November 2, 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.

Jeffrey P. Ayres, of Marion County, has been suspended due to noncooperation with the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission related to three separate grievances. The suspensions took effect Oct. 20. He must pay $512.94 for the costs of prosecuting one matter; the court declined to separately order reimbursement costs in the other two matters.

Hamilton County attorney Edward L. Harris III’s suspension for noncooperation with the disciplinary commission has been converted to an indefinite suspension, per an Oct. 20 order.

Franklin S. Yudkin, of Louisville, Kentucky, was suspended Oct. 25 for violating three Rules of Professional Conduct regarding his representation of a bank in a collection action against a pro se defendant. After the defendant hired an attorney to pursue a potential claim against Yudkin for misleading the court in the collection action and appeal, Yudkin filed a federal lawsuit against them alleging defamation, which was dismissed. Yudkin conceded he had no basis in law or fact for the defamation claim. The suspension begins Dec. 8 and will last at least 90 days, without automatic reinstatement. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against him.

Jackson County attorney Stephen S. Pierson has been suspended from practice due to disability, effective Nov. 6. The Disciplinary Commission filed a verified emergency petition for interim suspension Aug. 2, and a hearing officer determined that Pierson is disabled. Pierson, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, faces a charge of Level 6 felony aiding, inducing or causing welfare fraud after an investigation found he paid an office assistant in cash so that she could receive food stamps and Medicaid benefits for herself and/or her children.

No Misconduct
The Indiana Supreme Court on Oct. 25 found White County deputy prosecutor Terry Lee Smith did not violate Rules of Professional Conduct based on actions taken while prosecuting a defendant’s retrial. Read more on page 26.•


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