Monday, November 5, 2018
The Indiana Supreme Court imposed a 90-day suspension for misconduct on an appeal
After “Defendant” was convicted in March 2015 of murder and battery, but before sentencing, Respondent met with Defendant to discuss an appeal. After that meeting, Defendant and/or several of Defendant’s family members paid Respondent $8,000 as part of his fee. Defendant was sentenced in May 2015 and a motion to correct error filed by his trial counsel was denied on July 14, 2015. Six days later, Respondent notified Defendant of the 30-day deadline for filing a notice of appeal and that further payment for transcript costs was needed.
Respondent did not file a notice of appeal and the deadline for doing so passed. Respondent did not notify Defendant he had failed to file the notice of appeal and did not communicate with Defendant for several months. Eventually, Defendant fired Respondent, requested appointment of counsel to pursue a belated appeal, and demanded a refund from Respondent.
To date, Respondent has failed to refund any money to Defendant or his family, despite multiple requests made by Defendant’s family and despite Respondent’s acknowledgement that a refund is owed.
Reinstatement only if
If Respondent makes a full refund and files a verified accounting by March 1, 2019, he shall be automatically reinstated to the practice of law at the conclusion of the 90-day period of suspension. If Respondent does not make a full refund and file a verified accounting by March 1, 2019, then his suspension shall be served without automatic reinstatement, and Respondent may not thereafter resume practice until he has shown a refund has been made and has satisfied the requirements of Admission and Discipline Rule 23(18)(b).