Monday, June 17, 2019
The Indiana Supreme Court imposed a two-year suspension without automatic reinstatement of an attorney who neglected a number of matters
In recent years, Respondent also has been the subject of five separate show cause proceedings arising from her noncooperation with investigations by the Commission into grievances filed against Respondent. Further, while outside the record of these disciplinary proceedings, we judicially note that Respondent has been found in contempt of this Court for disobedience to our orders demanding the return of appellate records to the Clerk and, as a sanction, she has been barred from withdrawing further records in cases over which this Court has exercised jurisdiction.
The instant case – the third disciplinary prosecution against Respondent for the same type of systemic negligence that has characterized her career – makes clear that her professional shortcomings have not been remedied and in fact are growing worse. Respondent’s refusal to appear or participate in these proceedings, while already on disciplinary probation, reinforces this conclusion. The hearing officer succinctly summed up these aggravating factors and others in concluding that "Respondent cannot be safely recommended to the public as a lawyer who they can trust to handle their affairs." (HO’s Report at 26).
To protect the public, and in particular the vulnerable clientele within Respondent’s niche practice, we conclude that a lengthy period of suspension without automatic reinstatement is both necessary and appropriate. In order to gain reinstatement following the conclusion of her minimum term of suspension, Respondent will bear a heavy burden of clearly and convincingly establishing her fitness to resume practice. While there exists very little in this record suggesting Respondent will be capable of doing so, we choose not to close that door entirely.
A number of the cases involved post-conviction relief. (Mike Frisch)