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Indiana lawyers now must report misdemeanor convictions

November 8, 2016

Indiana attorneys now are explicitly required to report to the Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission any misdemeanor or felony conviction under sweeping changes to Admission and Discipline Rule 23.

The Indiana Supreme Court issued a 65-page order Thursday completely rewriting the rule dealing with the disciplinary commission and its proceedings. Regarding the reporting of misdemeanors, the court noted in a comment on the new rule that the new language “clarifies that duty to report is not limited to felonies, a matter of frequent confusion.”

The court announced the proposed Rule 23 in March, providing a 108-page side-by-side comparison of the old and new rules. The court also provided a five-page executive summary detailing key changes in the rule.

Some of the key changes include:

• Limiting the commission to a one-year period in which to investigate grievances, with additional time granted only upon approval of the Supreme Court;

• Expediting the investigation of grievances by eliminating the practice of "docketing," which noticed the shift of a case from a preliminary investigation to an investigation;

• Increasing the time lawyers have to respond to commission demands for information from 20 to 30 days in an attempt to reduce requests for additional time;

• Permitting new kinds of discipline including disbarment by consent;

• Streamlining the process for self-reporting misconduct;

• Reducing the time to convert a noncooperation suspension to an indefinite suspension from 180 days to 90 days;

• Updating and clarifying the Interest on Lawyer Trust Account recordkeeping rules; and

• Bringing disciplinary proceedings into the e-filing age.

 

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