The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission brings charges against attorneys who have violated the state’s rules for admission to the bar and Rules of Professional Conduct. The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications brings charges against judges, judicial officers, or judicial candidates for misconduct. Details of attorneys’ and judges’ actions for which they are being disciplined by the Supreme Court will be included unless they are not a matter of public record under the court’s rules.
Marion County attorney Patricia L. Rios was publicly reprimanded in a Feb. 27 order approving a conditional agreement for discipline, for writing a refund check to a dissatisfied client that was returned for nonsufficient funds. Costs of the proceedings and the hearing officer’s expenses are assessed against Rios.
Hamilton County attorney Scott A. Adams has been suspended from the practice of law for 180 days effective March 26, with 60 days actively served and the remainder of his suspension stayed subject to the completion of at least two years of probation with JLAP. The suspension is per a Feb. 14 order accepting a conditional agreement for discipline. The parties agree Adams failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness, failed to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter, failed to comply promptly with a client’s reasonable requests for information, failed to certify that all client funds which are nominal in amount or to be held fora short period of time are held in an IOLTA account, among other things. Costs of the proceedings and expenses of the hearing officer are assessed against Adams.
Delaware County attorney Lon D. Bryan was suspended for 150 days, beginning April 9, 2020, with 120 days actively served and the remainder stayed subject to completion of at least 18 months of probation with JLAP monitoring, per terms of a conditional agreement for discipline accepted by the court in a Feb. 27 order. Bryan admitted that he had possessed cocaine in his Muncie home in 2017, which police learned through a confidential informant. Costs of the proceeding are assessed against Bryan.
Lake County attorney Raymond Gupta was suspended for at least three years without automatic reinstatement for attorney misconduct by, among other things, mismanaging his attorney trust accounts, charging and collecting unreasonable amounts for fees and expenses, neglecting numerous client matters, making false statements to the commission and evading the payment of income taxes. Chief Justice Loretta Rush and Justice Steven David dissented in the court’s March 10 opinion and would reject the conditional agreement approved by the majority, believing that Gupta should be disbarred. Costs and fees in excess of $10,000 related to the commission’s investigation are assessed against Gupta.
Lake County attorney Philip T. King was suspended for noncooperation with the discipline process per an order of Feb. 27. King, who was under a prior suspension order for failing to pay dues and CLE noncompliance, also is ordered to reimburse the Disciplinary Commission $521.80for the costs of prosecuting this proceeding.
Kosciusko County attorney Scott J. Lennox’s prior suspension for noncooperation with the disciplinary process was converted to an indefinite suspension, per a March 23 order. The order came after Lennox pleaded guilty to felony counts of fraud and theft, was sentenced to a term of probation and ordered to pay more than $50,000 in restitution to former clients, his law firm and a financial institution.
Howard County attorney Richard L. Russell was suspended effective immediately for noncooperation with the disciplinary process after he failed to reply to a show cause order issued in November. The suspension was effective as of the Feb. 27 order, in which Russell also was ordered to reimburse the commission $520.40 for the costs of prosecuting the proceeding.
Marion County attorney Octavia F. Snulligan’s prior suspension for noncooperation with the disciplinary process was converted to an indefinite suspension, effective immediately, per a Feb. 27 order.
Johnson County attorney John P. Wilson was suspended for 180 days, with 30 days actively served and the remainder stayed subject to completion of 18 months of probation, effective May 4, per a March 23 order. In approving a statement of circumstances and conditional agreement for discipline, the court found Wilson violated multiple rules by mismanaging his trust account, leading to multiple overdrafts, commingling of client and attorney funds, inadequate recordkeeping, and failing to adequately supervise a nonlawyer assistant who was a signatory on the account. Wilson is assessed more than $2,200 in total investigative, court and clerk costs.•