Muncie lawyer gets suspension, JLAP monitoring for having cocaine

A Delaware County lawyer found with drugs in his home will serve a four-month suspension, plus probationary monitoring under the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program.

The Thursday order in In the Matter of: Lon D. Bryan, 19S-DI-306, marks the third time Muncie lawyer Lon Bryan has been suspended. According to an agreed discipline order, Bryan was found in possession of cocaine at his home in September 2017. Police learned of the drugs through a confidential informant.

While the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission investigated the incident, Bryan failed to timely comply with a subpoena duces tecum. That led to show-cause proceedings, and when Bryan did produce documents, they were not in compliance with the commission’s demands.

Bryan has been disciplined twice before, the Indiana Supreme Court wrote in the Thursday discipline order.

The first time was in 2002, when he agreed to a 90-day suspension with automatic reinstatement for violations of Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct 1.4, 1.5(c), 5.1(b), 1.16(a)(d), 8.1(b) and 8.4(c). The second was in 2009, when he received a one-year suspension, stayed subject to two years of probation, for violations of Rules 1.2(a), 1.4(a), 1.16(d) and 8.1(b).

The Indiana Roll of Attorneys lists Bryan as being the subject of six disciplinary matters.

In the instant case, the parties agreed Bryan violated Rule 8.1(b) by failing to respond to the commission’s demand for information, and Rule 8.4(b) by committing a criminal act reflecting adversely on his trustworthiness and fitness as a lawyer.

“For (Bryan’s) professional misconduct, the Court suspends Respondent from the practice of law for a period of 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,” the court wrote. Probation conditions were imposed, including:

  • Continuing his present treatment course and JLAP monitoring during both his active suspension and probation
  • Agreeing that a positive drug screen or other monitoring violation during the active suspension or probation will result in the stayed portion of his suspension being actively served without automatic reinstatement
  • Committing no additional rule violations or criminal acts during probation.

The costs of the proceeding are assessed against Bryan. All justices concurred.

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