September 11, 2009
Agreed Sanction Questioned
An attorney who had been convicted of felonies involving dealing and possessing controlled substances was sentenced to a six-year prison sentence. The attorney was suspended in July 2008 as a result of the conviction. The Indiana Supreme Court approved an agreement and imposed a two-year minimum suspension with no possibility of reinstatement until the criminal sentence is fully served. The attorney may then petition for reinstatement. The court noted that the attorney had sought and nearly completed treatment for substance abuse and accepted responsibility for the misconduct.
Justice Dickson disagreed: "Permitting such a convicted felon to practice law is unacceptable...because it places at risk the citizens who may seek future legal representation from the Respondent, and it undermines general public confidence, trust, and respect for the Indiana legal system as consisting of persons who are morally sound, fit, and suitable to be safely entrusted with the personal interests of others." Chief Justice Shepard concurred. (Mike Frisch)
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