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In re Thomas

Supreme Court of Indiana

May 12, 2015

IN THE MATTER OF: ANDREW D. THOMAS, Respondent

Attorney Discipline Action Hearing Officer Thomas R. Thomas, Sr.

ATTORNEY FOR RESPONDENT: Michael E. Brown, Kightlinger & Gray, LLP, Indianapolis, Indiana.

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

All Justices concur.

OPINION

Page 705

Per Curiam.

We find that Respondent, Andrew Thomas, engaged in attorney misconduct by, among other things, neglect of a client's case, pervasive mismanagement of his attorney trust account, and conversion of client funds. For this misconduct, we conclude that Respondent should be suspended for 240 days 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 1976 admission to this state's bar subjects him to this Court's disciplinary jurisdiction. See Ind. Const. art. 7, § 4.

Procedural Background and Facts

The Commission filed an eight-count " Verified Complaint for Disciplinary Action" against Respondent on May 29, 2013. Multiple rule violations were charged within many of these counts. The Commission withdrew certain charges at the outset of the hearing, including Count 7 in its entirety. The remaining charges alleged that Respondent violated the following rules governing professional conduct:

Ind. Professional Conduct Rules:
1.3: Failure to act with reasonable diligence and promptness.
1.15(a): Commingling client and attorney funds.
3.3(a)(1): Knowingly making a false statement of fact to a tribunal.
5.3(a) and (b): Failure to make reasonable efforts to assure that a nonlawyer employee's conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer.
5.3(c): Failing to take reasonable remedial action with respect to the misconduct of nonlawyer assistants under the lawyer's supervision.
8.4(a): Attempting to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct.
8.4(b): Committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, ...

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