State senator faces attorney discipline over handling of estates

June 28, 2017

A northern Indiana state senator faces a formal attorney discipline complaint that alleges she mishandled an estate she represented. The complaint also seeks discipline for 21 other delinquent estates in which she was attorney of record, some dating back decades.

Sen. Sue Glick, R-LaGrange, is accused of multiple violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct for her representation of a client in an estate case that took more than seven years to close after the testator’s death in January 2009. The estate closed in November 2016.

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A co-executor of that estate claims that from September 2013 through February 2014, he made at least 27 attempts to contact Glick by phone or office visits for an update on the estate, according to the complaint filed earlier this month by the Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission. The co-executor was typically met by Glick’s response that she “was working on it,” the complaint says, and Glick failed to provide any updates.

It’s unclear from the complaint when the grievances against Glick were filed with the commission.

The complaint says the estate co-executor provided checking account information, farm rental information and other documentation on behalf of the estate, but Glick failed to timely file income tax returns or an Indiana inheritance tax return. The complaint says she paid from her own pocket the associated penalties and interest due in those cases.

The commission charges Glick with violating Rule of Professional Conduct 1.3 by failing to act with reasonable diligence on the estate matter; 1.4(3) for failing to keep co-executors reasonably informed about the status of the case; and 1.4(4) for failing to comply with reasonable requests for information from a co-executor.

Under a separate count, the commission accuses Glick “of failing to make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation” in 21 delinquent estate cases, a violation of Rule 3.2.

The commission says it asked Glick on Oct. 24, 2016, about 21 open estate cases dating from 1991 to 2014 in which she was the attorney of record. “As of the date of this complaint, the Respondent has closed 14 of the 21 estates,” the complaint says. All of the cases are in LaGrange Circuit Court. The seven remaining open cases listed by the commission date from 1991 to 2012.

Glick is represented in her disciplinary case by James Bell of Paganelli Law Group LLC in Indianapolis.

"We are cooperating with the Disciplinary Commission and working towards a resolution of this matter," Bell said in an email.

Glick did not immediately respond Wednesday to a message seeking comment.

Glick, assistant president pro tem of the Senate, was elected from northeastern Indiana’s rural District 13 in 2010. She serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, chairs the Natural Resources Committee, and is the ranking member on the Corrections and Criminal Law and Agriculture committees.

Glick was LaGrange County prosecutor from 1983-1990, according to her state Senate profile. She serves as town counsel for the LaGrange County communities of Shipshewana and Topeka. A graduate of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, Glick was admitted to the bar in 1978. Her bar status is active in good standing, and she has no prior discipline.