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In re Carmouche

Supreme Court of Indiana

December 18, 2014

In the Matter of: Lisa A. CARMOUCHE, Respondent

Loretta H. Rush, Chief Justice of Indiana. All Justices concur.

PUBLISHED ORDER APPROVING STATEMENT OF CIRCUMSTANCES AND CONDITIONAL AGREEMENT FOR DISCIPLINE

Loretta H. Rush, Chief Justice of Indiana.

Pursuant to Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 23(11), the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission and Respondent have submitted for approval a " Statement of Circumstances and Conditional Agreement for Discipline" stipulating

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agreed facts and proposed discipline as summarized below:

Stipulated Facts: Respondent practices exclusively in the area of consumer bankruptcy law. In connection with her practice, Respondent maintains a " Trust Account" and a " Business Account." Respondent did not deposit or hold client funds in her Trust Account. Respondent's Business Account is not a trust account and is not registered as an IOLTA.

On at least five occasions, Respondent disbursed funds from her Trust Account using an electronic funds transfer. These transfers were not based on a written withdrawal authorization and did not contain the signed approval of an attorney.

As part of her practice, Respondent would collect filing fees and certain other advance expenses from her clients. Respondent deposited and held those filing fees and advance expenses, as well as her own personal funds, in her Business Account. During the period from December 2013 through April 2014, Respondent made dozens of disbursements from her Business Account that were not associated with or for the benefit of any client.

The parties cite as an aggravating fact that Respondent's actions were part of a pattern of misconduct. The parties cite as mitigating facts that Respondent fully cooperated with the Commission's investigation and has no prior disciplinary history.

Violations: The parties agree that Respondent violated the following rules governing professional conduct:

Ind. Professional Conduct Rules:

1.15(a): Commingling client and attorney funds.
1.15(c): Failure to deposit into a client trust account legal fees and expenses that have been paid in advance, to be withdrawn by the lawyer only as ...

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