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Suspended attorney who continued to practice fined $500

May 21, 2018

An Indianapolis attorney who has been suspended from the practice of law in Indiana for more than eight years has been found in contempt of court after continuing to practice despite his suspension.

Derrick D. Eley was suspended in January 2010 for failure to cooperate with the disciplinary process, and his discipline was converted to an indefinite suspension the following August. Though his suspension has never been lifted, the Indiana Supreme Court wrote in a Friday disciplinary order that Eley has continued to hold himself out as an attorney.

Specifically, the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission alleged that Eley sent a settlement demand letter to an insurance company on behalf of a claimant as recently as December 2017. The letter identifies Eley as “esquire” and advances a legal argument for the claimant, the commission alleged.

Thus, the court issued a show cause order against Eley on March 20, but he has yet to respond. The court, therefore, found Eley to be in contempt and imposed a $500 fine against him, to be paid within 60 days. The costs of the proceedings are also assessed against him.

All justices concurred except Justice Steven David, who would have imposed more significant sanctions in the case of In the Matter of: Derrick D. Eley, Respondent, 49S00-0908-DI-368.

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