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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court suspends attorney 180 days for bringing frivolous lawsuits

In In the Matter of: Andrew U.D. Straw, a 3-page order, the Court writes:

Facts: The four disciplinary counts in this case arise from frivolous claims and arguments advanced by Respondent in four lawsuits, three filed on his own behalf and the fourth filed on behalf of a client.

The first case, Straw v. Kloecker, arose from a defamation lawsuit Respondent had filed on his own behalf against a publishing company. * * *

In the second case, Straw v. American Bar Association et al., Respondent filed suit in federal court against the ABA and 50 law schools, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). * * *

The third case, Straw v. Sconiers, arose from Respondent’s prior representation of a client in connection with an employment discrimination claim. * * *

The fourth case, Rutherford v. Zalas, arose from a post-dissolution proceeding in Marshall Superior Court in which Respondent represented the former husband and another attorney (“Zalas”) represented the former wife. * * *

In each of the four counts, the Commission charged Respondent with violating Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 3.1, which prohibits bringing a proceeding or asserting an issue therein unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous. Following a hearing in which Respondent refused to participate, the hearing officer found Respondent violated Rule 3.1 as charged in each of the four counts and recommended that Respondent be suspended without automatic reinstatement. * * *

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, effective immediately.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 15, 2017 01:38 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions