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Friday, February 14, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Another Indianapolis attorney suspended without automatic reinstatement

In In the Matter of: Terrance L. KINNARD, a 3-page, 5-0 order filed Feb. 10, 2014, the Court concludes:

Discipline: Even if Respondent's failure to serve Mother was due to confusion about the prosecutor's role in the Title IV-D proceeding, the ethical mandate that documents filed in a court proceeding contain only truthful allegations is a bedrock legal principle. Respondent's most serious misconduct is his calculated filing of a baseless and vexatious defamation action against the grievant who reported his misconduct. We note that there is no finding regarding whether Respondent made any attempt to reimburse Mother for any monetary damages she incurred due to his misconduct.

Respondent suggests that he be suspended for a period of time followed by probation during which he would be under the supervision of JLAP and an attorney mentor. Similar discipline was earlier proposed by a conditional agreement, which this Court rejected. Respondent did not accept the Court’s counterproposal for suspension of six months without automatic reinstatement. See Admis. Disc. R. 23(11)(c). Now, upon consideration of the fully developed record, the Court again concludes that the discipline proposed by Respondent is inappropriate and insufficient for Respondent's misconduct, which included the deliberate and vindictive abuse of the legal system in an attempt to thwart the disciplinary process. The Court again concludes that Respondent should be suspended for at least six months and should then be permitted to resume practice only after obtaining approval for reinstatement.

For Respondent's professional misconduct, the Court suspends Respondent from the practice of law in this state for a period of not less than six months, without automatic reinstatement, beginning March 24, 2014. Respondent shall not undertake any new legal matters between service of this order and the effective date of the suspension, and Respondent shall fulfill all the duties of a suspended attorney under Admission and Discipline Rule 23(26). At the conclusion of the minimum period of suspension, Respondent may petition this Court for reinstatement to the practice of law in this state, provided Respondent pays the costs of this proceeding, fulfills the duties of a suspended attorney, and satisfies the requirements for reinstatement of Admission and Discipline Rule 23(4) and (18). Reinstatement is discretionary and requires clear and convincing evidence of the attorney's remorse, rehabilitation, and fitness to practice law. See Admis. Disc. R. 23(4)(b).

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 14, 2014 12:07 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions