Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The Indiana Supreme Court has imposed a 30 day suspension of an attorney for participating in an court-approved divorce agreement that the client's husband was not the father of her child notwithstanding DNA testing that showed a "very high probability" that he was. When the attorney drafted an agreement that the husband would have no rights as to the child, the husband's lawyer proposed that the agreement deny paternity. The attorney agreed. The husband's lawyer has been suspended for his role in the proceedings.
The matter came to light when the client applied for public benefits and the county attorney moved to intervene in the divorce. The court considered as mitigation the absence of a selfish motive and cooperation with the disciplinary proceeding. (Mike Frisch)