An attorney who failed to disclose in his bar exam application complaints made against him has been suspended from the practice of law effective immediately, the Indiana Supreme Court announced Tuesday.
In In the Matter of: Iurie Cuciuc, 19S-DI-267, justices found Iurie Cuciuc violated Professional Conduct Rule 8.1(b) when he failed to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension known by the person to have arisen in a bar admission matter.
The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission had filed its disciplinary complaint against Cuciuc in May 2019, who was served but did not appear or respond. Accordingly, the commission filed motions for judgment on the complaint, to which Cuciuc likewise failed to respond.
After twice failing the Indiana bar exam, Cuciuc applied again in December 2014, took and passed the July 2015 bar exam, and was admitted to practice in April 2016, according to the justice’s Tuesday order.
In his bar exam application, Cuciuc answered “no” to questions asking, “Have you ever been a party in a civil court case or proceeding?” and “Have you ever had a complaint or other action (including but not limited to, allegations of fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, forgery or malpractice) initiated against you in any administrative forum?”
The order says Cuciuc also acknowledged in his application his affirmative obligation to notify the Board of Law Examiners of any events between his application and bar admission that would cause any of the answers on his application to change.
After he submitted his application and took the bar exam, but before he was admitted to the Indiana bar, Cuciuc was the subject of a civil protective order proceeding filed in Marion Superior Court as well as a Title IX complaint filed with the McKinney School of Law. Cuciuc failed to supplement his bar application to include information about the protective order and Title IX proceedings, the order says.
“Respondent has petitioned for review, but his petition does not articulate any grounds that would call into question the appropriateness of the hearing officer’s entry of judgment on the complaint. Moreover, Respondent’s argument that prosecution of the underlying misconduct is barred on res judicata grounds, due to the prior dismissal of a show cause proceeding that involved Respondent’s failure to timely cooperate with the Commission’s investigation into that misconduct, is without merit,” Chief Justice Loretta Rush wrote for the high court.
“So too is Respondent’s argument that he is being prosecuted for ‘a purely private affair disconnected from the practice of law.’ Respondent is not being prosecuted for having been the subject of protective order and Title IX proceedings; rather, he is being prosecuted for having failed to comply with the requirement that he disclose those proceedings on his bar application, a failure with a direct and immediate bearing on the practice of law,” the order says.
For his professional misconduct, the high court suspended Cuciuc from the practice of law in Indiana for no less than 180 days without automatic reinstatement, effectively immediately.
“Respondent already is under an order of suspension for failing to fulfill his continuing legal education requirements,” the high court noted in its order. “At the conclusion of the minimum period of suspension, Respondent may petition this Court for reinstatement to the practice of law in this state, provided Respondent pays the costs of this proceeding, fulfills the duties of a suspended attorney, cures the causes of all suspensions then in effect, and satisfies the requirements for reinstatement of Admission and Discipline Rule 23(18).”
If Cuciuc wishes to seek reinstatement, he will have to show clear and convincing evidence of his remorse, rehabilitation, and fitness to practice law. The costs of the proceedings are assessed against him.