IndyBar: What’s Indiana’s Attorney Surrogate Rule?

  • Print
Listen to this story

Subscriber Benefit

As a subscriber you can listen to articles at work, in the car, or while you work out. Subscribe Now
This audio file is brought to you by
Loading audio file, please wait.
  • 0.25
  • 0.50
  • 0.75
  • 1.00
  • 1.25
  • 1.50
  • 1.75
  • 2.00

Indiana has an Attorney Surrogate Rule, which became effective in 2008. You can find the rule in the Indiana Rules for Admission to the Bar and Discipline of Attorneys, specifically under Rule 23 in Part IV, Section 27. An attorney surrogate is, by definition under the rule, a senior judge or another member of the Indiana bar, in good standing, who has been appointed by a court to act as an attorney surrogate for another lawyer.

An attorney surrogate becomes necessary when a lawyer dies, disappears, becomes disabled, or is suspended or disbarred and has not complied with the relevant disciplinary rules regarding the transition of their client matters. For purposes of the rule, “disability” includes any physical or mental condition resulting from an accident, injury, disease, chemical dependency, mental health problem or age.

To qualify, the disability must significantly impair the lawyer’s ability to practice law. The attorney surrogate’s role under those circumstances is to protect the lawyer’s clients and help wind down the lawyer’s practice. So, a surrogate has no duties unless or until one of those triggering events occurs.

Note: Not all lawyers will require an attorney surrogate. The rule only applies to attorneys who are engaged in private practice, excluding those who practice as an employee of: another lawyer, a fiduciary entity or an organization that does not engage in the private practice of law.•

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets on
{{ count_down }}