Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended an attorney for 30 days without automatic reinstatement for violating the rule prohibiting manifestation of bias or prejudice based upon race.
The attorney was an officer of a title company and gave the company legal advice. He sent an e-mail response to a meeting request to the secretary of an agent who represented the seller in a title dispute:
I know you must do your bosses [sic] bidding at his direction, but I am here to tell you that I am neither you [sic] or his [n-word]. You do not tell me what to do do. You ask. If you ever act like that again, it will be the last time I give any additional thought to your existence and your boss will have to talk to me. Do we understand each other?
The hearing officer found that the use of the word was "a derogatory racist insult, that Respondent's use of the term was not simply a historical reference to slavery but rather manifested racial bias, that he was acting in a professional capacity when he sent the email, and that his use of the term was not connected to legitimate advocacy."
The court noted that the attorney denied committing misconduct, offered no apology or remorse, and had a record of prior discipline. One justice would impose a less severe sanction. (Mike Frisch)