An Indianapolis attorney currently under an indefinite suspension for failing to cooperate with a disciplinary investigation has now been suspended for one year after neglecting an elderly client’s medical malpractice case, leading to its dismissal.
In June 2013, Glenn E. Davis, Jr. was hired to represent an elderly woman who was seeking damages after she fell while a patient at a rehabilitation center. The client’s daughter assisted her mother in communicating with Davis throughout the proceedings.
Though Davis timely filed a proposed medical malpractice complaint, he never filed the requisite submission of evidence to a medical review panel. This occurred despite multiple extensions of time in the case. The panel chair and client’s daughter tried to contact Davis several times, and Davis promised the daughter several times the submission would be filed.
The defendant eventually moved to dismiss the case after Davis failed to file the evidence, but Davis failed to inform the client of that motion or of the subsequently scheduled hearing. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss, but Davis did not communicate that information, either.
The client’s daughter then filed a grievance against Davis with the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, but Davis filed a misleading, belated response to the commission’s investigation. He then failed to comply with a subpoena duces tecum for the client’s file, a fact that resulted in his current indefinite suspension.
In imposing the one-year suspension without automatic reinstatement on Wednesday, the Indiana Supreme Court found Davis violated five Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct: Rules 1.3; 1.4(a)(3) and (4)’; 1.4(b); and 8.1(b).
“Respondent’s misconduct in this case is aggravated by the resulting harm to his elderly client, whose medical malpractice claim was dismissed with prejudice after having been neglected by Respondent for several years,” the court wrote in a per curiam opinion in In the Matter of Glenn E. Davis, Jr., 18S-DI-95. “That a legal malpractice claim affords a potential avenue for delayed recovery is of small comfort, particularly for an aggrieved client who may not enjoy the luxury of time to pursue and recover upon such a claim.”
Davis’ suspension is effective immediately. He can petition for reinstatement after one year if he pays the costs of the proceedings, fulfills the duties of a suspended attorney and satisfies the requirements for reinstatement under Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 23(18).
The costs of the proceedings are assessed against Davis. All justices concur.