Thursday, February 25, 2010
The National Organization of Bar Counsel has given Case of the Month status to the last substantive 2009 decision in an Indiana bar discipline matter as a means of paying tribute to Don Lundberg. An excerpt:
The December featured Case of the Month has been chosen for its symbolic significance
more than for the lawyer misconduct outlined in the decision. It is a relatively intricate case
involving a conflict of interest in a real estate matter, but it really has larger meaning. It is the
last truly substantive professional responsibility disciplinary decision to issue in Indiana in 2009.
For almost two decades, the Indiana lawyer disciplinary authority has been in the
forefront of bringing critical and often remarkable professional responsibility cases to the
attention of its state supreme court. This is solely due to the fact that Donald R. Lundberg, the
Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission Executive Secretary who took control of the
disciplinary agency in December 1991, has an innate understanding of what type of cases should
be brought to a licensing court, how those cases should be argued, and why it is sometimes
necessary to educate the practicing bar regarding difficult professional responsibility topics
within the context of a disciplinary case. His service prior to becoming a lawyer regulator hinted
at why he exercised the degree of discretion that he did while in office. Prior to his work at the
Indiana Supreme Court, he served for fifteen years in a number of positions for the Legal
Services Organization of Indiana, Inc., and ultimately became director of litigation. It was
probably all of those years in the trenches that provided him with the insights and judgment that
motivated him to file and plead certain cases in order to create a body of exemplary substantive
ethics law in Indiana.
The post also explores other highlights from Don's career in bar discipline.
It is nice to know that there is life after serving as disciplinary counsel. (Mike Frisch)