Thursday, November 5, 2009
The Indiana Supreme Court approved a conditional agreement for discipline in a matter involving a felony conviction (on plea of guilty) to one count of sexual battery. The parties had agreed to a suspension of at least two years beginning from the date of his October 2008 interim suspension. He also will not be eligible for reinstatement until he successfully completes his term of probation in the criminal case.
Justice Dickson dissents and would reject the conditional agreement: "...by engaging in conduct resulting in his felony conviction, [he] has demonstrated his unfitness to responsibly represent, advise, and serve future clients."
This report is from the Indiana Law Blog posted at the time of the conviction:
A New Albany attorney must report to jail today to begin serving a one-year sentence for sexual battery against a 16-year-old girl. Meanwhile, authorities have taken the first step toward suspending [his] license to practice law. * * *
On Tuesday the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission filed a request with the state high court to suspend [his] license to practice law, pending further proceedings to determine how long he should be prohibited from practicing.
[He] has 15 days from the filing to respond before the Supreme Court acts on the suspension request, which the commission said is typically granted. * * *
Donald Lundberg, executive secretary of the disciplinary commission, said the next step is for his organization to file a formal charge of misconduct against [the attorney]. A hearing officer would be appointed to weigh arguments from both sides and recommend a final punishment to the Supreme Court.
Lundberg said he can't predict what recommendation would be made in this case but added that "if you look at cases that are sort of in this ballpark, one tends to see multiyear suspensions from practice of law."
Any suspension of more than six months "requires that the lawyer can be reinstated to practice only after they successfully petition for the reinstatement of their law license" after completing the suspension, Lundberg said.