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Attorney convicted of cocaine charge suspended 3 years

November 16, 2018

A Marion attorney already under interim and administrative suspensions has been suspended from the practice of law for at least three years for professional misconduct, including her continual abuse of cocaine.

The Indiana Supreme Court imposed an additional suspension Friday against Tia R. Brewer, who received an interim suspension in May for her guilty plea to a charge of Level 6 felony possession of cocaine. On Friday, the high court ordered Brewer be suspended from the practice of law at least three years without automatic reinstatement when it found her to have committed numerous counts of attorney misconduct.

Specifically, it found that Brewer neglected clients’ cases, failed to appear at show cause hearings or to withdraw from cases when her abuse of cocaine rendered her unable to assist her clients. The court found she also committed a crime that reflects adversely on her fitness as a lawyer and failed to cooperate with the disciplinary process.

Brewer has 13 charges against her, 11 of which include separate client cases she neglected to represent by failing to appear, failing to inform and by abusing cocaine at the time of her counsel, rendering her unable to assist her clients.

In count 12, Brewer was found to be incoherent and impaired when served a bench warrant in May 2017, resulting in her arrest on charges of possession of cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Similarly in count 13, Brewer failed to respond to demands for a response to an investigation by the Commission. After receiving no response, the Commission filed a motion for rule to show cause as to why Brewer should not be suspended for noncooperation and ordered she respond within 10 days.  Brewer then complied and was ordered to reimburse the Commission $519.89. Brewer was admitted to practice in 2004.

Justices concluded Brewer violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.3, 1.4(a)(3), 1.16(a)(2), 1.16(d), 8.1(b) and 8.4(b).

The Indiana Roll of Attorneys shows four disciplinary actions opened against Brewer, including one that ended in a public reprimand in 2009 and two that were dismissed in October 2017.

Brewer’s Friday suspension is for at least three years without automatic reinstatement, effective immediately. After the suspension period, Brewer may be reinstated only after proving by clear and convincing evidence all of the factors enumerated in Admission and Discipline Rule 23(18)(b), which include genuine remorse for her misconduct, exemplary conduct since the discipline was imposed, and her fitness to practice law. The costs of the proceeding are assessed against her.

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