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Monday, August 19, 2013

Ind. Courts - Trial courts required to report guilty findings against lawyers to Disciplinary Commission

The latest issue of the IBJ has an editorial titled "Root out rogue attorneys." Unfortunately, it is $$, but Advance Indiana set out the gist in a post this weekend. Here is the beginning:

They’ve been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Yet next to the names Paul J. Page and David Wyser in the Indiana Roll of Attorneys appear the words: “Active in good standing.”

Page, a Marion County criminal defense attorney, in January pleaded guilty to a felony wire fraud charge in connection with an Elkhart real estate deal. Wyser, a former Marion County deputy prosecutor, in May pleaded guilty to a felony bribery charge for accepting a campaign donation in return for a reduced sentence for a convicted murderer.

The men face potential prison time for their crimes. But the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission has allowed them to continue practicing law in Indiana. Adding insult to injury: The attorneys’ public files with the agency show no active disciplinary cases.

Today, G. Michael Witte of the Indiana Disciplinary Commission appears to respond, or has excellent timing, in an article headed "Another Judge’s Duty: Reporting Lawyer Criminal Convictions to the Indiana Disciplinary Commission" that begins:
A judge who has entered a criminal guilty finding against a lawyer has an affirmative duty to report the conviction to the Disciplinary Commission. This duty is found in Admis. Disc. R. 23 §11.1(a)(1). The rule requires the judge to transmit a certified copy of the finding of guilt to the Disciplinary Commission within ten (10) days of the finding being made. This rule applies to all criminal convictions and not just felonies. It has become a myth handed down through generations of the bar that this rule only applies to felony convictions. That myth is inaccurate.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 19, 2013 11:08 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts