Indiana Lawyer’s top story of 2018 began inside an Indianapolis bar in the cool early-morning hours of Thursday, March 15. Attorney General Curtis Hill had had a few drinks. A few too many, several witnesses would later claim.
Legal professionals work within the Rules of Professional Conduct, so they don’t want to make any comments that might be perceived as unduly critical of others in the profession — a profession built largely on respect and civility. But according to an Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law professor, the unease surrounding Rule 8.2(a) is not a matter of respect, but rather a matter of lawyer fear.
A Plainfield attorney has been suspended for at least 180 days with two years of probation monitored by the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program after he accepted retainers from several clients but failed to adequately communicate with or appropriately advance their cases.
An Indiana attorney wanted on several charges of mail fraud against elderly victims he allegedly exploited as part of an investment scheme has been arrested after federal authorities found him in Florida, according to the FBI.
An Indianapolis attorney charged with intimidation against a Marion County court and other offenses has been suspended from the practice of law after the Indiana Supreme Court granted a petition for his emergency suspension.
A suspended northern Indiana lawyer was sentenced Friday to nearly nine months in jail for forging a judge’s signature on a phony divorce order and sending a client a bogus email that she represented as coming from a deputy prosecutor. Jill Holtzclaw of Decatur was sentenced to serve 270 days behind bars followed by a year of probation for her convictions of Level 6 felony counts of forgery and counterfeiting.
An Indianapolis attorney found guilty of converting client funds, falsifying attorney registration and lying to a court can no longer practice law in Indiana after the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously voted to disbar her.
The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission addressed such questionable relationships in an advisory opinion that cautions Hoosier attorneys against “license rental” partnerships with out-of-state law firms or non-lawyer service groups. Through these partnerships, Hoosier attorneys lend their services to the out-of-state firm or non-lawyer group in exchange for a fee paid for limited client representation in Indiana.
The rare subset of attorney discipline cases brought by the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission are the result of criminal charges against lawyers that could result in jail time. In that regard, the Hoosier State had plenty, even as total attorney discipline orders declined in 2018.
A Merrillville lawyer who asked the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana to reconsider discipline imposed on him drew a harsh reply from the court, which said his conduct “lends further support to … concerns about his competence as a lawyer.” The district court denied John H. Davis' motion to reconsider his removal from the court's Roll of Attorneys last week.
A northern Indiana lawyer could be sentenced to nearly two years in jail after she pleaded guilty Tuesday to forging a judge’s name on a phony divorce decree and sending a bogus email bearing a deputy prosecutor’s name. Jill N. Holtzclaw of Decatur pleaded guilty to Level 6 felony counts of forgery and counterfeiting Tuesday in Adams Superior Court.