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Friday, May 16, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court disbars Indianapolis attorney, Steven B. Geller

In In the Matter of: Steven B. Geller, a 15-page, 4-1 disciplinary opinion, the Court writes:

We find that Respondent, Steven B. Geller, engaged in multiple acts of attorney misconduct, including dishonesty to a court and to the Commission, improper communications with a judge and with a represented party, neglect of vulnerable clients, disorderly conduct in a judicial facility, and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. For this misconduct, we conclude that Respondent should be disbarred. * * *

[The ruling contains 4 counts and many details. Geller is currently listed as active in good standing in the Roll of Attorneys]

The hearing officer recommended either suspension without automatic reinstatement or disbarment. The Court notes Respondent's history of misconduct, his unsuccessful prior attempt at rehabilitation, his inability to appreciate the wrongfulness of his current misconduct (except admitting "losing it" in Count 1), and his confrontational attitude toward those involved in the disciplinary process. Of particular concern is Respondent's continued inability to manage his anger, his attempts to blame others, including his own clients, for his misconduct, and his dishonesty toward a court and the Commission. Under these circumstances, the Court concludes that disbarment is warranted in this case.

The Court concludes that Respondent violated the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct by multiple acts of misconduct, including dishonesty to a court and to the Commission, improper ex parte communication with a judge, improper communication with a represented party, pervasive neglect of vulnerable clients, disorderly conduct in a judicial facility, and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. * * *

Dickson, C.J., and Rucker, David, and Rush JJ., concur. Massa, J., concurs in part, dissents in part regarding the discipline, and would impose a three-year suspension without automatic reinstatement.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 16, 2014 10:24 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions