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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ind. Decisions - "Indiana Supreme Court suspends Bloomington lawyer"

Laura Lane reports today in the Bloomington Herald-Times concerning a ruling that is not online as of this post. Some quotes:

The Indiana Supreme Court has sanctioned Bloomington lawyer David Schalk for professional misconduct and suspended him from practicing law for at least 9 months.

A state hearing officer determined Schalk, admitted to the Indiana Bar in 1990, violated two Indiana Professional Conduct rules when he assisted a client in purchasing marijuana in order to prove that a police informant involved in the case was a drug dealer. The two rules he violated: committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer and engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

In 2009, Schalk was convicted of a misdemeanor, conspiracy to commit possession of marijuana, in connection with the case. He appealed the conviction, but it was upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals, which said it in its ruling “an attorney is not exempt from the criminal law even if his only purpose is the defense of his client.”

The state supreme court denied Schalk’s request to argue his case before the court and imposed the suspension.

“Respondent (Schalk’s) illegal attempt at a drug sting without the assistance of law enforcement, aggravated by his complete lack of any insight into his misconduct and his repeated and unfounded attacks on those involved in his criminal case and this disciplinary proceeding, demonstrate his need for a substantial period of suspension followed by a rigorous reinstatement proceeding before resuming practice,” Chief Justice Brent E. Dickson wrote.

Here is the Feb. 8, 2011 Court of Appeals opinion in David E. Schalk v. State of Indiana.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 18, 2013 07:20 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions