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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court issues private reprimand to attorney in matter involving "his wife's misappropriations"

In In the Matter of: Anonymous, a per curium, 3-page attorney discipline action, the Court writes:

Pursuant to Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 23(11), the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission and Respondent have submitted for approval a "Statement of Circumstances and Conditional Agreement for Discipline" stipulating agreed facts and proposed discipline. The Court approves the agreement and finds that Respondent engaged in attorney misconduct by failing to make reasonable efforts to ensure that the conduct of a nonlawyer employee of his law firm was compatible with his professional obligations, which failure resulted in theft from the firm's client trust fund.

The Respondent's 1978 admission to this state's bar subjects him to this Court's disciplinary jurisdiction. See IND. CONST. art. 7, ยง 4. For his misconduct, we find that Respondent should receive a private reprimand. * * *

Although Respondent was negligent in supervising the firm's trust account, he took immediate and effective action to protect clients and rectify the situation once his wife's misappropriations came to his attention, and he cooperated fully with the Commission. Under these circumstances, the Court concludes that a private reprimand is an appropriate sanction.

Conclusion. The Court, having considered the submission of the parties, now APPROVES and ORDERS the agreed discipline. For Respondent's professional misconduct, the Court imposes a private reprimand. The costs of this proceeding are assessed against Respondent.

The Court directs the Clerk to forward a copy of this Opinion to the hearing officer, to Respondent or Respondent's attorney, and to the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 13, 2007 03:19 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions