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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Two today from the Supreme Court

In the Matter of: Douglas W. Patterson is a 5-page, 5-0, per curiam, attorney disciplinary opinion that concludes:

The Court concludes that Respondent violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 8.4(b) and 8.4(c) by committing three counts of class D felony theft of client funds and by engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.

For Respondent's professional misconduct, the Court disbars Respondent from the practice of law in this state effective immediately. Respondent shall fulfill all the duties of a disbarred attorney under Admission and Discipline Rule 23(26).

The costs of this proceeding are assessed against Respondent.

Here is a long list of ILB entries on Mr. Patterson, including, from 2011: "Lawyer suspended in 2008 sentenced to nine years in prison for stealing from the trust fund accounts of 23 clients."

In John Berry v. State of Indiana, a 13-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice David writes:
After a bench trial, the trial court rejected the defendant’s insanity defense, finding that the defendant’s behavior was the result of his voluntary abuse of alcohol. The Court of Appeals reversed, concluding that the defendant suffered from “settled insanity,” a mental disease or defect caused by the defendant’s prolonged and chronic abuse of alcohol, which rendered him unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct.

We affirm the trial court because there was credible expert testimony that defendant’s behavior was caused by his voluntary abuse of alcohol.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 20, 2012 11:51 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions