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Monday, September 12, 2011

Ind. Decisions - A word to the wise ...

Here are some quotes from Harmeyer v. State Bd. of Law Examiners, a 2-page order filed today, written by CJ Shepard with all justices concurring:

On June 12, 1992, Ronald Harmeyer was admitted to practice law in Indiana after successfully passing the Indiana Bar Examination and being found otherwise eligible for admission. In 1996, Harmeyer was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin after successfully passing the Wisconsin bar examination. Believing he would never return to practice law in Indiana, in late 2008 Harmeyer submitted an "Affidavit of Permanent Withdrawal from the Practice of Law" to the Executive Secretary of the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission pursuant to Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 2(1) (West 2008). His affidavit stated in relevant part:
I understand that by permanently relinquishing my Indiana law license, I am not eligible for reinstatement of that license in the future except upon making a new application for admission to the bar of the State of Indiana and complying with the requirements for admission under Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 3 through 21 .
Mr. Harmeyer changed his mind in 2011. But the Supreme Court today finds he did follow the proper procedure in contesting the statement of "an employee of the Indiana Board of Law Examiners" and continues:
We further observe that even if Harmeyer's Petition had been submitted to us following a "final determination" of the BLE, we likely would have denied the Petition. Harmeyer's "Affidavit of Permanent Withdrawal from the Practice of Law in Indiana," as well as Admission and Discipline Rule 2(1) upon which the affidavit's language was based, clearly and unambiguously informed Harmeyer that if he permanently relinquished his Indiana law license, then he would not be eligible for reinstatement except upon making a new application for admission and complying with the requirements for admission set forth in Admission and Discipline Rules 3 through 21. Those requirements include, but are not limited to, successfully passing the bar examination, see Admis. Disc. R. 17, if the attorney cannot secure a provisional license or a business counsel license under Admission and Discipline Rule 6.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 12, 2011 07:27 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions