In the Matter of: Marcus E. Ellison, Respondent.
Attorney Discipline Action Hearing Officer William J. Boklund
RESPONDENT PRO SE Marcus E. Ellison South Bend, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR THE INDIANA SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINARY
COMMISSION G. Michael Witte, Executive Director Angie L.
Ordway, Staff Attorney Indianapolis, Indiana
that Respondent, Marcus Ellison, committed attorney
misconduct by neglecting an appeal and thereafter engaging in
a pattern of dishonesty in an effort to cover up his neglect.
For this misconduct, we conclude that Respondent should be
suspended for at least 90 days without automatic
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
"Disciplinary Complaint." Respondent's 2001
admission to this state's bar subjects him to this
Court's disciplinary jurisdiction. See Ind.
Const. art. 7, § 4.
Procedural Background and Facts
Commission filed a "Disciplinary Complaint" against
Respondent on April 4, 2017. Respondent was served with the
complaint but did not respond. Accordingly, the Commission
filed a "Motion for Judgment on the Complaint, "
and the hearing officer took the facts alleged in the
disciplinary complaint as true.
petition for review of the hearing officer's report has
been filed. When neither party challenges the findings of the
hearing officer, "we accept and adopt those findings but
reserve final judgment as to misconduct and sanction."
Matter of Levy, 726 N.E.2d 1257, 1258 (Ind. 2000).
agreed to represent "Client" in an appeal from the
denial of Client's petition to expunge her misdemeanor
theft conviction. Respondent supervised a pro bono
expungement clinic sponsored by Ivy Tech and staffed by
students, but Respondent had never done an appeal. Respondent
filed a notice of appeal in September 2015, and notice of
completion of the transcript was filed in November 2015,
making an appellant's brief due in December 2015.
did not timely file an appellant's brief. Thereafter,
several times to inquire about the status of her appeal.
Twice, Respondent replied by falsely implying that a brief
had been filed.
March 2016, an entry was made on the online appellate docket
indicating the appeal was being transmitted for dismissal due
to the failure to file an appellant's brief. Client saw
this entry and emailed Respondent, demanding an explanation
and a file-marked copy of the brief Respondent claimed to
have filed. Respondent did not promptly reply to this email.
Instead, Respondent tendered to the Court of Appeals a motion
for leave to file the appellant's brief belatedly. In
that motion, Respondent falsely stated that he had prepared
an appellant's brief "which was to be appended to
transcript and notice of appeal but was apparently not
attached." This tender was defective for multiple
reasons and was not accepted by the Clerk for filing.
Meanwhile, Respondent emailed a copy of the tendered
appellant's brief to Client, who replied by pointing out
to Respondent that ...