November 14, 2011
Improper Delegation Leads To Suspension
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended an attorney for at least one year without automatic reinstatement.
The attorney had a bankruptcy practice. His secretary "routinely prepared and signed his name to petitions and other papers filed in the cases, even though the bankruptcy rules require an attorney of record to make certain certifications about the filings and to sign pleadings, motions, and most other documents presented to the court."
The secretary filed a case in the Northern rather than Southern District court and then filed and signed a motion to dismiss the case. A hearing was set and the attorney failed to appear. He was held in contempt, fined and prohibited from future Northern District filings until he petitioned for reinstatement. He filed ten more cases on the day after the contempt order and drew a second show cause order.
He was eventually reinstated by the bankruptcy court.
The sanction here was based on consent of the attorney and the Disciplinary Commission. (Mike Frisch)
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