|Executive Secretary |
There is hardly an area in which I had not advocated for reforms. But there was one area, an area that was the source of constant complaints by attorneys, that I had never addressed - the attorney disciplinary system. In January of 2011, I did a study of three years of discipline and found that 397 out of 400 cases involved attorneys from small firms or sole practitioners. I wrote a critical piece about the Disciplinary Commission on my blog Ogden on Politics in which I reported my findings and called for an investigation.
|Catherine Nestrict, DC Board Chair|
|Anthony Prather, DC Board|
Member and Former Chair
At the end of the day, the Indiana Supreme Court is the body that can take notice of what is going on and enact meaningful reforms. We need more transparency, we need the disciplinary rules enforced equally, and we need to end the politicization of the disciplinary process. We also need a DC that has a better sense of priorities, i.e. the number one duty of the DC should be protecting the public from being harmed by dishonest attorneys. We need statutes of limitations enacted on grievances and we need rules requiring that members of the DC recuse themselves from sitting on cases deciding the discipline of an attorney who had previously accused the DC member of an ethical violation. But more important than any other reform, these assaults by the Disciplinary Commission on attorney free speech need to cease immediately. The DC should not be in the business of using the disciplinary process to protect judges and the DC from criticism. That is not what the First Amendment is about and that is certainly not what the disciplinary process should be about.