Monday, January 30, 2023

Couch Fee Proposal Draws Resignation

The Indiana Supreme Court has accepted an attorney's resignation in order to immediately remove him from practice and spare further harm to his victim

A disciplinary complaint against Respondent was filed on November 9, 2022, alleging he hugged and kissed a potential client and solicited sexual favors from her in exchange for a discount on his attorney fees. Later, the complaint alleges, Respondent offered to represent her for free if she did not report his misconduct. Respondent has now tendered to this Court an affidavit of resignation from the bar of this State, pursuant to Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 23(17), which requires an acknowledgement that the material facts alleged are true and that Respondent could not successfully defend himself if prosecuted.

Respondent’s admitted misconduct is egregious, a flagrant abuse of his position, and a betrayal of the trust the public places in members of Indiana’s bar and the profession. Respondent would likely face disbarment if the allegations were tried and proven. It is only in the interest of more immediately removing Respondent from practice and sparing his victim from having to testify in these disciplinary proceedings that we accept Respondent’s resignation. Moreover, absent a request from the Commission, the Admission and Discipline Rules do not provide a mechanism for this Court to sua sponte order an interim suspension to protect the public while seeking disbarment here.

Any disciplinary proceedings are dismissed as moot. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink


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