August 31, 2011
Short Suspension For Pattern Of Misconduct
The Indiana Supreme Court approved an agreed disposition of a 90 day suspension with all but 30 days stayed, followed by probation for two years. The court described the circumstances:
Count 1. Respondent admits to a pattern of misconduct from 2003 through 2004 involving his handling of the funds of 42 clients, including failure to keep adequate records, having insufficient funds to cover checks written on his attorney trust account, commingling of personal and client funds, failure to hold client funds in trust, and using the funds of some clients to pay the filing fees of other clients. In responding to a grievance, he asserted that he had rectified the situation, but he had not. Count 2. Respondent admits to a pattern of similar misconduct during 2007 involving his handling of client funds.
Count 2. Respondent admits to a pattern of similar misconduct during 2007 involving his handling of client funds
Other facts. The parties cite the following facts in aggravation: (1) Respondent engaged in a repeated and prolonged pattern of misconduct that put client funds at risk; (2) Respondent failed to take action to correct his trust account mismanagement for years after becoming aware of it, taking corrective action only after the Commission began a thorough investigation in 2010; (3) Respondent's pattern of misconduct demonstrates a gross disregard for protecting his client's property. The parties cite the following facts in mitigation: (1) Respondent has no disciplinary history; and (2) Respondent's misconduct was not due to a dishonest or selfish motive.
The court noted that no client funds were lost as a result of the above-described misconduct. (Mike Frisch)
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