Threatening to expose intimate photos gets attorney 90-day suspension

  • 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

Angola attorney Allen R. Stout has been suspended from the practice of law for three months with automatic reinstatement after he was found to have deliberately deceived and bullied a woman who was seeking a protective order against his client.

In the order issued Thursday by the Indiana Supreme Court, In the Matter of: Allen R. Stout, 20S-DI-719, Stout was found to have engaged in “professional misconduct.” He must actively serve his entire suspension, which is scheduled to begin March 11 and continue for 90 days.

On the first count, Stout was representing the wife in a divorce case. He was alleged to have behaved inappropriately toward the husband during the deposition and following a hearing.

The hearing officer determined that even though Stout was unprofessional, his actions did not rise to the level of a rule violation. The Disciplinary Commission sought a review of those findings.

On the second count, Stout was representing a man against a woman who had petitioned for a protective order. At the deposition, he confronted the woman with several 8-by-10 color copies of intimate photos she had sent his client, putting the pictures on the table for all the individuals in the room to see.

Stout then asked the woman, “Why do women who seek the aid of the court send these kinds of pictures to men?”

He ended the deposition and told the woman the pictures would become part of the public record if she continued to petition for the protective order. However, he said she could prevent that by filing a dismissal. Then he proceeded to advise her on how to file for dismissal.

Afterward, Stout bragged to an associate about how he got the woman to drop the petition by threatening to have the photographs become part of the record.

Stout was found to have violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules:

  • 4.1(a): Knowingly making a false statement of material fact or law to a third person in the course of representing a client.
  • 8.4(c): Engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
  • 8.4(d): Engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

However, the justice’s found in Stout’s favor on alleged violations of Rules 4.4(a) and 8.4(b).

Stout asked the Supreme Court to impose a public reprimand for any misconduct. He pointed to Matter of Broderick, 929 N.E.2d 199 (Ind. 2010).

While the Supreme Court acknowledged that Stout and the Broderick case involved the same type of misconduct, the justices held that Stout’s actions were “qualitatively worse by several degrees.”

The court explained Broderick made a false statement that mischaracterized a defendant’s criminal history. Stout, on the other hand, engaged in deception that was “part of an intentional and purposeful plan he devised to coerce and bully the petitioner into dismissing her case under threat of having her intimate photos exposed.”

The costs of the proceeding are charged to Stout.

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 }}