Friday, April 2, 2010
The Indiana Supreme Court has disbarred an attorney who had been suspended for six months with automatic reinstatement in October 2007. The suspension didn't seem to register with him. He wrote his clients a letter that indicated he was "stepping away" from law practice for six months and instructed his office staff not to tell clients who called in of the suspension. He appeared at a hearing a week after the suspension and filed a false affidavit certifying compliance with the suspension. Moreover, he "never relinquished management of the law office to [his associate]" and regularly interacted with his office staff on legal matters.
The court found that the so-called "stepping away" letter failed to comply with the notification obligations of a suspended attorney. He also had entered into a prohibited business transaction with a client and had made false statements to the Disciplinary Commission. (Mike Frisch)