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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court disbars Fort Wayne attorney

In In the Matter of Donald Edward James, a 4-page, 5-0, per curiam opinion in an attorney disciplinary action, the Court writes:

We find that Respondent, Donald James, committed attorney misconduct by mismanaging his trust account, converting client funds, and failing to cooperate with the disciplinary process. For this misconduct, we conclude that Respondent should be disbarred. * * *

During 2015 Respondent significantly overdrew his attorney trust account on three occasions, regularly commingled personal funds with client funds, made unauthorized cash and check withdrawals from the trust account for his own personal purposes, and failed to maintain adequate trust account records. Respondent also invaded client funds, which resulted in the overdrafts. Respondent largely failed to cooperate with the Commission’s investigation and has failed to participate in these disciplinary proceedings. * * *

Respondent already is under suspension in two other cases for failure to cooperate with the Commission’s investigations. For Respondent’s professional misconduct, the Court disbars Respondent from the practice of law in this state effective immediately. Respondent shall fulfill all the duties of a disbarred attorney under Admission and Discipline Rule 23(26). The costs of this proceeding are assessed against Respondent, and the hearing officer appointed in this case is discharged.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 7, 2017 11:17 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions