Friday, April 19, 2013
Ind. Courts - How open, or isolated, are attorney-client meeting rooms?
Updating this April 10th ILB entry headed "Senior judge banned from judicial service," which included this link to the Lisa Traylor-Wolff Supreme Court disciplinary order, dated April 9th, Tim Evans has an Indianapolis Star story today on the decision, headed "Part-time judge who had sexual relations with inmate banned from judicial service." A few quotes from the story:
The charges stem from a "physically intimate relationship with a 26-year-old client" who Traylor-Wolff had been appointed to represent as a public defender * * *From a Christian Science Monitor story:
Traylor-Wolff was representing the defendant on felony charges when the alleged sexual activity took place in an attorney-client visitation room at the Miami Correctional Facility.
The disciplinary charges say Traylor-Wolff continued to represent Wampler as he appealed his conviction and developed a more personal relationship with him, giving him books, making cash deposits to his prison account, sending him personal emails and completing a Bible study with him.ILB: How open, or isolated, are attorney-client meeting rooms?
The charges allege the two developed a romantic relationship in May 2012. The charges say she kissed Wampler three times at the Miami Correctional Facility, including once while sitting on his lap. The charges say Traylor-Wolff and Wampler met in a private attorney-client visitation room at the prison on June 15 and correctional officers observed them at the end of the meeting "engaged in excessive fondling."
The charges say that contact "meets the definition of 'sexual relations'" as defined under the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct. Wampler was written up for the incident and, following a hearing, was sanctioned with a loss of jail credit time, according to the charges.
The ILB has received correspondence from several defense attorneys after the Traylor-Wolff discipline:
- I was in Michigan City earlier this month and they had me meet with my client in an open area where we were both very visible. No one was within earshot, and I wasn't offended by the lack of privacy.
- Wow, I just went to DOC and they stuck me in the little attorney room down the tiny hall where no one is ever around. And then the CO tells me, right in front of my client, "If you get in a jam, yell really loud." Hey, thanks, I'll do that.
But at Miami, those rooms are out in the open and easily visible to just about anyone in the visiting room. I'm surprised.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 19, 2013 12:31 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts