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Thursday, June 05, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court suspends Unionville attorney, without automatic reinstatement

In In re Craig R. Benson, a 4-page, 4-1 opinion, the Court writes in part:

On or about June 27, 2010, Respondent filed bankruptcy petitions on behalf of the clients. Respondent advised clients to file for bankruptcy to remove jurisdiction from the state trial court to circumvent the trial court's orders.

On August 12, 2010, Co-Alliance filed a motion in the state trial court to find Respondent in contempt ("Contempt Motion"). The trial court held a hearing at which Respondent admitted that he was aware of the orders prohibiting the distribution of the sale proceeds and that he distributed funds from the sale after the orders were issued. The trial court entered an order ("Contempt Order") finding Respondent in contempt, fining him $75,000, and ordering him incarcerated until the fine was paid. Respondent spent two days in jail before he paid the fine and was released. Respondent appealed the Contempt Order to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed. See In re the Order of Contempt against Benson, 955 N.E.2d 215 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011), trans. denied.

[There is much more, re arguments made by respondent] * * *

Conclusion. For the reasons stated above, the Court concludes that Respondent violated the Professional Conduct Rules as charged by the Commission.
Discipline: For Respondent's professional misconduct, the Court suspends Respondent from the practice of law in this state for a period of not less than 180 days, without automatic reinstatement, beginning July 14, 2014. * * *

All Justices concur, except David, J., who dissents regarding the sanction, believing that more severe discipline is warranted.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 5, 2014 11:08 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions