Indianapolis attorney reinstated after suspension for lying on law school, bar applications

An Indianapolis attorney who was previously suspended for lying on his law school and bar admission applications may once again practice law in the Hoosier State.

Indiana Supreme Court justices in a Friday order granted a petition for reinstatement filed by Marion County attorney Michael C. Bratcher.

In March 2016, Bratcher was suspended for 18 months without automatic reinstatement for lying on his applications for law school and Indiana and Illinois bar admission regarding a citation he received for retail theft in Wisconsin as an undergraduate student.

Bratcher’s pattern of misconduct and dishonest or selfish motive were cited as aggravators, while his lack of prior discipline, self-reporting to the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission and law schools he attended, and loss of employment following the revelation of his falsehoods were cited as mitigators.

Then-Justice Brent Dickson dissented in the 2016 suspension order, believing Bratcher should be precluded from seeking reinstatement in the future.

Bratcher filed a petition for reinstatement on Aug. 20, 2019. A hearing officer issued a report on Nov. 23, 2021, following an evidentiary hearing, recommending that Bratcher be reinstated to the practice of law in Indiana.

Indiana justices accepted the recommendation and ordered his reinstatement as a member of the Indiana bar beginning Jan. 21 in In the Matter of: Michael C. Bratcher, 49S00-1602-DI-90.

“Given the hearing officer’s inexplicable delay of nearly one year in issuing his report, the Court elects to waive any costs that remain owing in this matter,” Chief Justice Loretta Rush wrote for the unanimous court. Online records indicate the hearing officer was Judge Grant Hawkins of the Marion Superior Court.

Bratcher has no other disciplinary history, according to the Indiana Roll of Attorneys.

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