Carla Ginn, a solo practitioner in Scottsburg, has been publicly reprimanded for violating the prohibitions against conflict of interest by simultaneously representing a father, the alleged perpetrator, and his son, the alleged victim.
The Indiana Supreme Court also ordered Ginn to pay $270.96 in In the Matter of Carla J. Ginn, 21S-DI-325.
According to the disciplinary complaint, Ginn had been dating the father for about four months in 2018 when she began acting as co-counsel on his older son’s case related to three criminal matters. She continued to represent the son after the appointed counsel withdrew when a plea agreement was reached in March 2019.
In January 2020, the father was arrested and charged with 13 felony counts after getting into an altercation with the older son Ginn was representing and a younger son. Although the older son was listed a victim, Ginn appeared with the father at his arraignment and subsequently entered a formal appearance on the father’s behalf.
After the father was order not to have unauthorized contact with his sons, Ginn continued to simultaneously represent the father and older son. She received discovery, including the recorded statements of the older son and his brother in the father’s criminal matter.
Also, in February 2020, she entered her formal appearance in the older son’s previous criminal cases and moved to alter the terms of his probation so he could work part time for his father. The trial court denied the request.
In March 2020, Ginn moved to vacate the no-contact order to allow the father to have contact with his sons.
Ginn had negotiated a resolution to the remainder of the older son’s criminal matter and mailed him the notice of the change of plea hearing in early March 2020. However, in May and July of that same year, she filed motions to continue the change of plea hearing date. Finally, she moved to withdraw from his criminal matters in July 2020.
In August 2021, she withdrew from the father’s representation.
Ginn was found to have violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.3 (failing to act with reasonable diligence and promptness); 1.7 (representing a client when the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest); and 1.16(a) (failing to withdraw from representation when the representation will result in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law).
All justices concurred in the public reprimand.