Two Hoosier attorneys have been suspended from the practice of law for noncooperation with the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, while a third has been indefinitely suspended for failing to cooperate, justices announced Thursday in three disciplinary orders.
In one of those cases, In the Matter of: Richard L. Russell, 19S-DI-606, Kokomo attorney Richard Russell in November 2019 was ordered to show cause as to why he shouldn’t be immediately suspended for failure to cooperate with an investigation against him brought by the commission. The following month, the commission filed a “Request for Ruling and to Tax Costs” asserting Russell still had not cooperated, prompting Indiana Supreme Court justices to issue an order taking the matter under advisement.
The high court provided Russell an additional 30 days to cooperate with the commission’s investigation, but the commission filed a renewed request for ruling Feb. 10, advising that Russell still had not cooperated.
Justices thus ordered that Russell be suspended from the practice of law for noncooperation, effective immediately on Thursday. He is also ordered to reimburse the commission $520.40 for the costs of prosecuting the proceeding.
Similarly, justices suspended Merrillville lawyer Philip King after he failed to show cause as to why he should not be immediately suspended for failure to cooperate with an investigation against him.
“Pursuant to Admission and Discipline Rule 23(10.1)(c)(3), this suspension shall continue until the Executive Director of the Disciplinary Commission certifies to the Court that (King) has cooperated fully with the investigation or until further order of this Court, provided there are no other suspensions then in effect,” Chief Justice Loretta Rush wrote Thursday in an unanimous order.
King is already under a suspension for continuing legal education noncompliance and dues nonpayment and is ordered to fulfill the continuing duties of a suspended attorney under Admission and Discipline Rule 23(26). He also must reimburse the Disciplinary Commission $521.80 for the cost of the proceeding.
King’s case is In the Matter of: Philip T. King, 19S-DI-672.
Lastly, the Supreme Court in October 2019 suspended Indianapolis attorney Octavia Snulligan from the practice of law in Indiana for failing to cooperate with the commission concerning a grievance filed against her. As of Thursday, the justices ordered Snulligan’s current suspension to be converted to an indefinite suspension, effective immediately.
“The Court finds that more than ninety (90) days have passed since Respondent was suspended due to noncooperation with the disciplinary process. Accordingly, the Court concludes that Respondent’s suspension should be converted to an indefinite suspension from the practice of law pursuant to Admission and Discipline Rule 23(10.1)(c)(4),” the order says.
Snulligan is ordered to fulfill the continuing duties of a suspended attorney under Admission and Discipline Rule 23(26). To be readmitted to the practice of law in Indiana, Snulligan must “cure the causes of all suspensions in effect and successfully petition this Court for reinstatement pursuant to Admission and Discipline Rule 23(18)(b).”
Her case is In the Matter of: Octavia F. Snulligan, 19S-DI-453.