In the Matter of Tia R. Brewer, Respondent.
Discipline Action Hearing Officer Emily C. Guenin-Hodson
APPEARANCE FOR THE RESPONDENT
ATTORNEYS FOR INDIANA SUPREME COURT DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION
G. Michael Witte, Executive Director Aaron Johnson, Staff
that Respondent, Tia R. Brewer, committed attorney misconduct
by, among other things, neglecting clients' cases,
failing to appear at show cause hearings, failing to withdraw
from cases when her abuse of cocaine rendered her unable to
assist her clients, committing a crime that reflects
adversely on her fitness as a lawyer, and failing to
cooperate with the disciplinary process. For this misconduct,
we conclude that Respondent should be suspended for at least
three years without automatic reinstatement.
matter is 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 2004 admission to
this state's bar subjects her 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 May 30, 2018. After
service by certified mail at Respondent's address was
unsuccessful, constructive service was made upon the Clerk as
Respondent's agent pursuant to Admission and Discipline
Rule 23(23.1)(c). Respondent has not appeared or responded in
these proceedings. 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).
1 through 11.
was hired by eleven separate clients to represent them in
various criminal and family law cases. She neglected each
case. Respondent failed to keep one client informed regarding
the status of the client's case and failed to inform
three clients that Respondent was not going to attend a
hearing prior to her failure to attend. She failed to return
a client's file after being terminated. She missed the
deadline to file an Appellant's Brief, resulting in
dismissal of the client's appeal, though the Court of
Appeals later allowed a belated appeal.
failed to attend hearings in nine of the cases, two of which
were final hearings in family law matters. Respondent's
failure to attend hearings resulted in three show cause
proceedings against her. Respondent appeared at one show
cause hearing and admitted she was suffering from personal
issues. In the other two, Respondent failed to appear. After
the court entered a bench warrant against Respondent in one
case, Respondent appeared and admitted she had not appeared
for a change of plea hearing or the show cause hearing
because she was voluntarily intoxicated at the time.
Respondent has admitted to abusing cocaine during much of
this period, rendering her unable to assist her clients.
26, 2017, when the bench warrant was served on Respondent,
she was incoherent and impaired. Law enforcement found
cocaine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia in
Respondent's possession. She was charged with one Level 6
felony and two misdemeanors. She pled guilty to possession of
cocaine as a ...