Thursday, May 8, 2014

Next Stop Is Off To Jail

An attorney who violated a previous order of suspension was found in contempt of court and disbarred by the Indiana Supreme Court.

The attorney was suspended for two years and has not been reinstated. He also was admitted to practice (and reciprocally suspended) by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

The original misconduct

The violations arose from becoming sexually intimate with two minors on a team he coached, providing alcohol to them, and falsely assuring their parents, their school, and others that he had no inappropriate relationship with them.

He claimed that the "paralegal" work done in various matters was permissible and on advice of counsel.

The Zuckerman [Spaeder] attorneys advised Respondent that he "could not work in any capacity for any organization that was doing legal work, whether under the title paralegal or any other title because doing so would be practicing law through a surrogate, and we recommended that he scrupulously . . . comply with the suspension and that an attempt to get around the requirement [in] any clever fashion would be the worst thing that he could do." Report at 13. Although Respondent disputed this testimony, suggesting that the attorneys advised him that he could work as a paralegal for a lawyer or law firm while suspended, the hearing officer found that Respondent's testimony was not credible.

Here, the court found that the suspended attorney continued to practice law. These "egregious" violations of the suspension order merited disbarment

Respondent's violation of the Suspension Order was on-going, pervasive, and deliberate, and it exposed the public to the danger of misconduct by an attorney who has yet to prove his remorse, rehabilitation, and fitness to practice law through the reinstatement process. Under these circumstances, the Court concludes that a fine of $1,000.00 and disbarment is warranted. The Court cautions that any further contempt by Respondent will likely result in imposition of a period of imprisonment.

(Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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