Tuesday, June 28, 2011

False Document Increases Sanction

The Indiana Supreme Court imposed a six-month suspension without automatic reinstatement in a matter involving an attorney who had failed to advise a client of her earlier suspension and neglected another client's name-change petition.

The court noted that the attorney is being treated for a previously undiagnosed condition but nonetheless concluded that the joint recommendation for lesser discipline was inappropriate because the attorney had submitted a false document in the disciplinary investigation:

Mental or emotional disability cannot excuse deliberate, deceitful behavior that compromises the integrity of the legal system, including the Commission's investigation of attorney misconduct. Dishonesty in any form and at any stage of the disciplinary process cannot and will not be tolerated. While we are cognizant of the contribution Respondent's untreated depression and anxiety made to her misconduct and we commend the steps Respondent has taken toward recovery, we nevertheless conclude that Respondent must be required to go through the reinstatement process before resuming the practice of law in this state.

(Mike Frisch)


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