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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Another Indianapolis attorney disciplined; more on the two earlier actions this month disciplining Indianapolis attorneys

Today the Supreme Court has posted this disciplinary order, dated Feb. 14, 2014:In the Matter of: Jennifer F. GRAHAM

However, there is no Jennifer F. Graham in the Roll of Attorneys.

There is a Jennifer L. Graham in the Roll. A check of the docket shows that indeed it is the "L." Graham who has been disciplined.

I anticipate the Supreme Court order will be corrected.

From the 3-page, 5-0 Court order:

Respondent admits that she suffers from a compulsive gambling addiction (involving slot machines) which began around July 2010. She has taken a number of steps to address her gambling addiction, and other than one relapse in April 2013, Respondent has abstained from playing slot machines since November 2012. * * *

Violations: The Court finds that Respondent violated these Indiana Professional Conduct Rules prohibiting the following misconduct:
Rule 8.4(b): Committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer, i.e., conversion.
Rule 8.4(c): Engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.

Discipline: For Respondent's professional misconduct, the Court suspends Respondent from the practice of law for a period of 60 days, beginning the date of this order, all stayed subject to completion of at least two years of probation on the following terms and conditions: * * *

On Feb. 14th the ILB posted an order indicating that Indianapolis Attorney Terrance L. Kinnard has been suspended for 6 months, without automatic reinstatement. On Feb. 12th, Gary L. Dilk, also of Indianapolis, was also suspended for 6 months, without automatic reinstatement.

The Indianapolis Star today has a story by Tim Evans on the two suspensions:

The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended Indianapolis attorneys Gary L. Dilk and Terrance L. Kinnard for “a period of not less than six months” in unrelated disciplinary cases. * * *

Once they have served the six-month suspensions, both attorneys can petition the court for reinstatement. The orders issued Feb. 10 explain that reinstatement “is discretionary and requires clear and convincing evidence of the attorney’s remorse, rehabilitation, and fitness to practice law.”

The Star story appears to miss the significant consequences of suspension "without automatic reinstatement," something that the ILB looked at in depth in this Feb. 14th post headed "How bad is 'suspension without automatic reinstatement' by the Supreme Court; can it be the kiss of death for an attorney?"

As attorney Craig Smith's research for the ILB indicated, of 119 attorneys since 2000 who were given suspension without automatic reinstatement, only 22 attorneys have been reinstated, and "after applying for reinstatement, it usually took 8 to 16 months for those attorneys to be reinstated."

Note: The Star story has subsequently been updated to reflect the ILB research.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 18, 2014 11:39 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions