In the Matter of Douglas L. Krasnoff Respondent.
Attorney Discipline Action Hearing Officer Helen W. Marchal
RESPONDENT PRO SE Douglas L. Krasnoff Brownsburg, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR INDIANA SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION
G. Michael Witte, Executive Director Angie L. Ordway, Staff
Attorney Indianapolis, Indiana
that Respondent, Douglas Krasnoff, engaged in attorney
misconduct by practicing law while suspended and by
intentionally misleading a client regarding his ability to
work on her case. For this misconduct, the Court concludes
that Respondent should be suspended for at least two years
without automatic reinstatement, effective from the date of
matter is now before us on the report of the hearing officer
appointed by this Court to hear evidence on the Indiana
Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission's verified
disciplinary complaint. Respondent's 1997 admission to
this state's bar subjects him to this Court's
disciplinary jurisdiction. See IND. CONST. art. 7,
Background and Facts
Commission filed a "Verified Complaint for Disciplinary
Action" against Respondent on March 28, 2016, and we
appointed a hearing officer. Following an evidentiary
hearing, the hearing officer issued her report on March 14,
2018, finding Respondent committed violations as charged.
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).
August 2014, "Mother" retained Respondent to seek
release of "Son" from an involuntary mental health
commitment. In early September, Son was transferred from one
mental health facility to another but remained under
October 20, 2014, and continuing through May 27, 2015,
Respondent was suspended from the practice of law in Indiana
due to his failure to pay costs in a prior disciplinary
January 2015, Mother contacted Respondent about securing
Son's release, and at Respondent's request Mother
paid Respondent $1, 000 for "legal fees."
Respondent did not tell Mother he was under a suspension from
the practice of law. Respondent rendered legal analysis and
advice to Mother but took no court action toward securing
Son's release. Mother soon confronted Respondent after
discovering he was suspended. Respondent responded by falsely
implying that he was able to practice law because his
suspension was administrative rather than disciplinary in
nature. Respondent also repeatedly responded to
Mother's inquiries about the status of the case by
telling her that the mental health facilities were being
unreasonably nonresponsive to his record requests and that
dealing with Son's situation would take some time.
March or early April 2015, Respondent solicited an additional
$1, 000 from Mother to continue the representation.
Respondent did not tell Mother that he could not request a
hearing date from the court due to his suspension. In May,
Mother again confronted Respondent after having been informed
by staff at Richmond State Hospital that they had not been
allowing Respondent to review Son's medical records due
to Respondent's suspension. Respondent again tried to
alleviate Mother's concerns by emphasizing his suspension
was administrative and not disciplinary.
Respondent paid his costs and was reinstated to practice in
May 2015, he filed an appearance on Son's behalf. Shortly
thereafter though, Mother terminated the representation,
demanded an explanation from Respondent about his inability
to advance Son's case ...