Indiana justices accept Kokomo lawyer’s resignation

Indiana Supreme Court justices on Tuesday accepted a veteran Howard County lawyer’s resignation from the Indiana Bar.

Members of the high court first accepted the resignation of Kokomo attorney Richard L. Russell from the Indiana bar, effective immediately, in In the Matter of: Richard L. Russell, 19S-DI-606. Justices had ordered in March that Russell be suspended from the practice of law effective immediately for noncooperation with the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission.

In November 2019, Russell 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, it filed a request for ruling and to tax costs, asserting Russell still had not cooperated, prompting the Supreme Court to issue an order taking the matter under advisement.

Although Russell was given an additional 30 days to cooperate with the commission’s investigation, it eventually filed a renewed request for ruling and advised that Russell still had not cooperated, leading to his suspension.

The high court’s Tuesday order acknowledged that there was a pending disciplinary commission investigation or proceeding involving alleged misconduct against Russell and that he could not successfully defend himself. The acceptance of Russell’s resignation thus ordered any attorney disciplinary proceedings pending against him to be dismissed as moot.

The order does not specify the nature of the alleged misconduct against Russell, who was admitted to the practice of law in Indiana in 1975, according to the Indiana Roll of Attorneys.

He can petition for reinstatement after five years, with any allegations of misconduct potentially up for consideration in the reinstatement process. In order to be reinstated, Russell must prove his remorse, rehabilitation and fitness to practice law. He also remains under orders to pay the cost of prosecuting the matter.

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