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In re Atkins

Supreme Court of Indiana

September 22, 2014

IN THE MATTER OF: TREZANAY M. ATKINS, Respondent

Attorney Discipline Action Hearing Officer Helen W. Marchal.

RESPONDENT, Pro se.

ATTORNEYS FOR THE INDIANA SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION: G. Michael Witte, Executive Secretary, John P. Higgins, Staff Attorney, Indianapolis, Indiana.

All Justices concur.

OPINION

Per Curiam.

We find that Respondent, Trezanay M. Atkins, engaged in attorney misconduct by committing criminal conversion while acting in a fiduciary capacity and by engaging in conduct involving dishonesty. For this misconduct, we conclude that Respondent should be suspended from the practice of law in this state for at least two years without automatic reinstatement.

This matter is before the Court on the report of the hearing officer appointed by this Court to hear evidence on the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission's " Verified Complaint for Disciplinary Action," and on the post-hearing briefing by the parties. Respondent's 2009 admission to this state's bar subjects her to this Court's disciplinary jurisdiction. See Ind. Const. art. 7, § 4.

Procedural Background and Facts

The Commission filed a " Verified Complaint for Disciplinary Action" against Respondent on June 19, 2013. The hearing officer filed her report on May 12, 2014. By filing no petition for review, Respondent has foregone the chance to challenge the hearing officer's findings of fact. See Admis. Disc. R. 23(15)(b).

The Marion County Bar Association (the " MCBA" ) is a local bar association that

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exists in large part to assist in the professional development of African American attorneys practicing in the Indianapolis area. The MCBA elects and/or appoints officers, including the treasurer, who serves a one-year term. The treasurer of the MCBA serves in a fiduciary capacity.

In 2011, Respondent submitted an application to join the organization and applied for the position of treasurer. Respondent served as treasurer from June 2011 until December 2012. As treasurer, Respondent had signatory authority on the MCBA's checking account at Regions Bank.

Respondent admitted that during her term as treasurer of the MCBA, she misappropriated funds that belonged to the MCBA. She admitted that she converted the proceeds of 30 checks drawn on MCBA's checking account. The memo lines of the unauthorized checks often contained false statements in order to make it appear that the checks were used for legitimate MCBA expenses. Respondent also admitted she converted the proceeds of one debit and the proceeds of 21 counter ...


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