FOR THE RESPONDENT FOR THE INDIANA SUPREME COURT
235 North Delaware
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Donald R. Lundberg, Executive Secretary
Fredrick L. Rice, Staff Attorney
115 West Washington Street, Ste. 1060
Indianapolis, IN 46204
IN THE MATTER OF )
) CASE NO. 03S00-9806-DI-319
JAMES MICHAEL KUMMERER )
law for a period of six months, the first 30 days of which shall be served as an active
suspension from the practice of law, and the balance of the suspension to be stayed
conditionally, with a one year probation period thereafter. After considering the tendered
agreement, we conclude that we should approve it and adopt the agreed terms of probation.
The respondent was admitted to the bar of this state on May 1, 1974, and is thus subject to this Court's disciplinary jurisdiction. The parties agree that on October 20, 1995, a Marion County Sheriff's deputy received a tip that an individual had been approached by a man in a black Jeep who offered to sell her cocaine. The woman also reported that the man used cocaine in her presence. The woman provided the deputy with the Jeep's license number. The deputy located the Jeep in a parking lot neighboring the location of his interview with the informant. The respondent was inside the vehicle. Upon searching the vehicle, the deputy discovered a baggy containing a substance which subsequent tests revealed to be slightly over three grams of cocaine. The respondent was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine, a class C felony. During an interrogation, he informed the deputy he had purchased the baggy for $200 from a man several blocks from the site of the arrest.
We find that, by possessing cocaine, the respondent violated Prof.Cond.R. 8.4(b), which provides that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to commit a criminal act which reflects adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects. See footnote 1
treatment); Matter of Behrmann, 664 N.E.2d 730 (Ind. 1996) (30-day suspension for causing
falsified tax return for own business to be prepared where no criminal charges were brought);
Matter of Wright, supra (six-month suspension for cocaine possession with portion of
suspension conditionally stayed); Matter of Stults, supra (six month suspension for cocaine
possession and drunk driving).
In light of the mitigating factors, precedent, our desire to foster agreed resolutions of lawyer disciplinary cases, and the agreed conditions attendant to the respondent's suspension, we are persuaded that the proposed disciplinary sanction is appropriate under the circumstances of this case. It is therefore, ordered that the respondent James Michael Kummerer, is hereby suspended from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months, beginning August 30, 1999, the first thirty (30) days of which shall be served as an active suspension with the balance conditionally stayed, to wit: upon completion of the thirty (30) day period of active suspension, the respondent shall be conditionally reinstated to the practice of law in Indiana subject to the successful completion of one (1) year of probation. That one-year period of probation shall require the respondent to abide by the following terms and conditions:
1. The respondent shall not engage in any illegal conduct involving any controlled substance or alcohol.
2. The respondent shall submit to periodic, random drug screen urinalysis testing conducted by a duly qualified provider of such services that is satisfactory to the Commission. Such tests shall be conducted at least five (5) times per month during the term of probation. The respondent shall arrange to have written reports of such testing promptly submitted to the Commission.
illegal drugs . . .[t]he impact [of which] is of such severity that it affects adversely the public's perception of Respondent's fitness to be an officer of the Court. See also Matter of Wright, 648 N.E.2d 1151 (Ind. 1995) (lawyer convicted of possession of cocaine found to have violated Prof.Cond.R. 8.4(b)); Matter of Stults, 644 N.E.2d 1239 (Ind. 1994) (same).
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