FOR THE RESPONDENT FOR THE INDIANA SUPREME COURT
Ida Katherine Warren, Pro Se Donald R. Lundberg, Executive Secretary
Charles M. Kidd, Staff Attorney
115 West Washington Street, Ste. 1060
Indianapolis, IN 46204
IN THE MATTER OF )
) Case No. 98S00-9802-DI-97
IDA KATHERINE WARREN )
behalf of the woman's brother, who was incarcerated in a federal facility and also held on a
detainer from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. On that same date, the woman paid
the respondent one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). The woman and her brother repeatedly
attempted to communicate with the respondent after that payment, but the respondent failed to
take any action on the brother's behalf. In January 1997, the respondent returned the one
thousand dollars ($1,000.00) to the woman.
As to Count V, we find that a client retained the respondent to pursue a petition for immigration for the client's wife. The client paid the respondent three hundred fifty dollars ($350.00) for legal fees and eighty dollars ($80.00) for the filing fee. Although the respondent reported she had filed the appropriate paperwork with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the client was unable to confirm that the filing had occurred, never received copies of that filing and never received the desired action from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Despite repeated attempts to communicate with the respondent, the client was unable to reach her and could not obtain either his file or a refund of the four hundred thirty dollars ($430.00) which he had paid her.
As to Count VI, we find that in February 1996 a woman hired the respondent to assist the woman's husband, who was incarcerated in a federal correctional facility and facing deportation. In January 1997, the wife paid the respondent one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) based on the respondent's representation that she could arrange the transfer of the husband to a halfway house. The respondent did nothing to assist the husband and failed to respond to repeated requests for information about the matter. On October 12, 1997, after the client filed
a grievance with the Disciplinary Commission, the respondent forwarded a money order for five
hundred dollars ($500.00) and a personal check for five hundred dollars ($500.00) to the wife
Shortly thereafter, the wife signed and sent a document to the Disciplinary Commission entitled Request for Dismissal of Investigation. Although the respondent did not dictate, draft or type the Request for Dismissal of Investigation, she asked the wife and the husband to communicate to the Disciplinary Commission their desire to terminate the investigation. The respondent's personal check for five hundred dollars ($500.00) made payable to the wife was returned due to insufficient funds. The respondent did not provide any further restitution to the wife or the husband, and the couple received no further communication from the respondent.
We find that as to all six counts of misconduct, the respondent violated:
1) Ind. Professional Conduct Rule 1.3 through her failure
to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in
representing her clients.See footnote 1
2) Prof.Cond.R. 1.4(a) by failing to respond to reasonable
requests for information from her clients.See footnote 2
3) Prof.Cond.R. 1.4(b) by failing to keep her clients apprised
so that they could make informed decisions about the course
of the representation.
e.g., Matter of Barnes, 691 N.E.2d 1225 (Ind. 1998) (six-month suspension without automatic
reinstatement where respondent was charged with three counts of client neglect); Matter of
Chovanec, 695 N.E.2d 95 (Ind. 1998) (one-year suspension where respondent was charged with
four (4) counts of neglect and mishandling of client funds). Given the number of charges of
misconduct and the respondent's prior disciplinary history, a suspension of not less than one
(1) year, as suggested by the parties, appears commensurate with the respondent's misconduct.
Accordingly, the respondent, Ida K. Warren, is hereby suspended from the practice of
law for a period of not less than one (1) year, beginning May 24, 1999. At the conclusion of that
period, the respondent may petition this Court for reinstatement to the bar of this state, provided
she can demonstrate compliance with the terms and conditions set forth in Admis.Disc.R.
The Clerk of this Court is directed to provide notice of this order in accordance with Admis.Disc.R. 23(3)(d) and to provide the Clerk of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the Clerk of each of the U.S. District Courts in this state, and the Clerk of each of the United States Bankruptcy Courts in this state with the last known address of respondent as reflected in the records of the Clerk.
Costs of this proceeding are assessed against the respondent.
(b) A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit
the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.
(A) lawyer in connection with . . . a disciplinary matter, shall not . . . fail to disclose
a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension known by the person to have arisen in
the matter, or knowingly fail to respond to a lawful demand for information from
an admissions or disciplinary authority . . . .
Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent
reasonably practicable to protect a client's interests, such as giving reasonable
notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, surrendering
papers and property to which the client is entitled and refunding any advance
payment of fee that has not been earned. The lawyer may retain papers relating
to the extent permitted by other law.
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to . . . engage in conduct that is
prejudicial to the administration of justice . . . .
Converted from WP6.1 by the Access Indiana Information Network