Lawyer discipline hearing in Park Tudor case could be closed

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The attorney facing professional ethics charges over his handling of sexual misconduct accusations against a now-imprisoned former Park Tudor basketball coach will be permitted to provide some evidence under seal, and at least portions of his attorney discipline hearing may be closed to the public.

Ice Miller partner Michael A. Blickman was accused last year of possessing and copying child pornography, failing to immediately report child abuse and other ethical rules violations for his actions while representing the north side Indianapolis prep school. The Indiana Supreme Court could take action against Blickman’s law license based on the results of a disciplinary commission investigation outlined in its 18-page complaint issued in November.

Blickman represented Park Tudor at the time former boys basketball coach Kyle Cox was accused of exchanging sexually explicit texts and images with a 15-year-old student.

Cox was charged and pleaded guilty in federal court to coercion and enticement of a minor. He is serving a 14-year prison term. The parents and child entered into a settlement agreement with Park Tudor and Ice Miller in June 2017, according to the complaint.

The commission’s complaint alleges, among other things, that Blickman’s friendship with Cox had led him to take unethical actions, including failing to promptly report suspected child abuse, possessing and copying child pornography and other allegations. The commission in January, however, dropped its conflict-of-interest charges regarding Blickman’s friendship with Cox.

This week, Senior Judge Terry Shewmaker of Elkhart County — the hearing officer in Blickman’s case — ordered the final disciplinary hearing to be set for up to four days beginning Sept. 23.

Blickman’s legal team, which includes former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Ted Boehm, also secured a protective order with the agreement of the commission that will keep certain evidence in Blickman’s disciplinary case confidential. Shewmaker issued an order posted Monday but signed April 30 outlining the handling of material that may be deemed confidential or “sensitive,” and permitting certain evidence to be filed under seal.

“For exhibits offered at the final hearing in this case that were derived from the disclosure of the Confidential Documents or Material, the Commission will offer such exhibits under seal, pursuant to Administrative Rule 9. Furthermore, either party may seek to close portions of the final hearing in the event testimony would necessarily disclose the Confidential Documents or Material. Nothing in this agreement or Order prohibits a party from seeking to seal any other exhibits or close any portion of the hearing as may be prudent,” Shewmaker’s order reads in part.

The case is In the Matter of Michael Allen Blickman, 18S-DI-00553.

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