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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Ind. Decisions - Observations on some Supreme Court disciplinary rulings

This ILB has received this note from a member of the Indiana bar currently serving as a federal law clerk:

I've noticed an increasing trend of Justice David voting (in dissent) to disbar attorneys in disciplinary hearings. Four times in the past nine months (In re Dempsey; In re Denney; In re Engebretsen; In re Julian), Justice David has gone beyond the recommendation of the hearing officer and sought disbarment of the attorney.

In his earlier dissents, Justice David typically went just a bit farther than the rest of the Court. He wanted a suspension to be without automatic reinstatement (In re Barkes; In re Buckley); wanted JLAP counseling as a condition of reinstatement (In re Reiber); or simply stated that the imposed discipline was insufficient (In re Royer; In re Chovanec; In re Goldberg; In re Relphorde).

Not only is Justice David unlikely to show leniency to disciplined attorneys, but his proposed punishments are growing harsher. It's an area of the Supreme Court's jurisdiction that gets very little attention, but I wonder if Justice David will be able to cobble together a coalition of Justices who will share his approach.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 8, 2013 10:53 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions