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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ind. Decisions - Attorney suspended for 30 days without automatic reinstatement

In the Matter of Daniel C. McCarthy is a 2-page disciplinary opinion dated Dec. 21, 2010. From the order:

The hearing officer found that the word “nigger” is a derogatory racist insult, that Respondent’s use of the term was not simply a historical reference to slavery but rather manifested racial bias, that he was acting as an attorney when he sent the email, and that his use of the term was not connected to legitimate advocacy. Respondent has received a prior 30-day suspension with automatic reinstatement for unrelated misconduct. * * *

The Court finds that Respondent violated Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(g), which prohibits engaging in conduct, in a professional capacity, manifesting bias or prejudice based upon race, unless the conduct constitutes legitimate advocacy. * * *

[I]n the current case, Respondent vehemently denies committing any misconduct, has offered no apology or other indication of remorse, and has a prior disciplinary suspension. We therefore conclude that a period of suspension is warranted and that Respondent should go through the reinstatement process to prove his understanding of his ethical duties and remorse before resuming practice.

For Respondent's professional misconduct, the Court suspends Respondent from the practice of law in this state for a period of not less than 30 days, without automatic reinstatement, beginning January 28, 2011. * * *

Shepard, C.J., and Dickson, Rucker, and David, JJ., concur. Sullivan, J., concurs and dissents, agreeing with the Court's finding of misconduct but believing that a sanction less severe than suspension without automatic reinstatement is warranted.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 22, 2010 02:40 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions