FOR THE RESPONDENT
FOR THE INDIANA SUPREME COURT DISCIPINARY COMMISSION
Donald R. Lundberg, Executive Secretary
115 West Washington Street, Suite 1165
Indianapolis, IN 46204
SUPREME COURT OF INDIANA
IN THE MATTER OF )
) CASE NO. 82S00-0105-DI-250
ALLAN G. LOOSEMORE, JR. )
July 29, 2002
Because he helped himself to funds he should have been holding in trust
for his client and third-party creditors, we conclude to today that the respondent,
Evansville attorney Allan G. Loosemore, Jr., should be suspended from the practice of
law for at least three years.
The Disciplinary Commission filed a verified complaint for disciplinary action against the respondent
on May 23, 2001, and served a summons and complaint upon the respondent
at his addresses as reflected in the Roll of Attorneys. Pursuant to
Ind.Admission and Discipline Rule 23(14), a respondent to a disciplinary complaint must answer
the complaint within 30 days after service of the summons and complaint (unless
additional time to respond has been procured by motion); otherwise, the allegations in
the complaint shall be taken as true. Admis.Disc.R. 23(14)(c). Pursuant to that
rule, the Commission has now filed its Verified Petition for Judgment on the
Complaint, therein stating the respondent has not answered its complaint and summons.
Upon that petition, the hearing officer appointed by this Court to hear this
matter concluded that the respondent was properly served with the summons and complaint,
and that judgment on the complaint should issue. Accordingly, we adopt the
hearing officers findings relative to the complaint, as recounted herein.
The respondent was admitted to the bar of this state in 1981, but
has been administratively suspended from the practice of law since May 20, 2001,
for failure to pay attorney registration fees and comply with continuing legal education
requirements. Since July 26, 2001, he has been suspended pendente lite upon
consent pending the outcome of this proceeding.
We now find that the respondent represented a client in a personal injury
matter. Upon obtaining a settlement on the clients behalf, he deposited the $40,000
proceeds (made payable by the defendant insurer to the respondent, the client, a
medical creditor, and a subrogated insurer) into an account designated as his client
trust account. In fact, the account was not a valid trust account
because it was not in an approved trust account depository as required by
Admis.Disc.R. 23(29)(a)(I). At the time of the deposit, the account was overdrawn by
The respondent did not advise the client, the medical creditor, or the insurer
of receipt of the funds, nor did he remit any of the proceeds
to them. Instead, without the clients permission, he wrote 12 checks to
himself for a total of$14,660, a check to his wife for $3,800, two
checks for rent for $1,845, a check to a gas station for $9.07,
and six other checks for obligations not related to the client. The
accounts balance later fell to $1,051.61.
One week later, the respondent paid to his client $30,000, using a cashiers'
check from another bank. The medical creditor and subrogated insurer have not
received any of the funds to which they were entitled from the settlement.
We find that the respondent violated Ind. Professional Conduct Rule 1.15(a) by failing
to safekeep his clients funds. He violated violated Prof.Cond.R. 1.15(b) by failing
promptly to deliver to his client funds she was entitled to receive.
He violated Prof.Cond.R. 8.4(b) by committing criminal acts, theft and conversion, that reflect
adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness to practice law in other respects.
He violated Prof.Cond.R. 8.4(c) by engaging in conduct involving dishonesty. He
violated Admis.Disc.R. 27(29)(a)(1) by placing client and third party funds in an account
that was not in an approved trust account depository.
Having found misconduct, we now turn to the issue of proper sanction, noting
in this regard that the hearing officer recommended the respondents disbarment. The unauthorized
use of client funds for personal benefit is extremely serious misconduct. Similar
instances of misconduct have garnered lengthy suspensions short of disbarment, but with reinstatement
expressly conditioned upon formal petition to this Court.
See, e.g., Matter of Fleener,
705 N.E.2d 994 (Ind. 1999) (suspension of not fewer than two years for
false police report and theft of $11,000 from non-profit organization for which the
lawyer served as Executive Director); Matter of Quinn, 738 N.E.2d 678 (Ind. 2000)
(suspension for not less than one year for knowingly allowing trust account balances
to fall below an amount sufficient to satisfy obligations to clients and third
parties, in part by drawing checks on the trust accounts for personal expenditures);
Matter of Kouros, 735 N.E.2d 202 (Ind. 2000) (suspension for not less than
one year for temporary use of clients' funds held in trust, for purposes
unrelated to the clients, without clients' knowledge or consent); Matter of Knobel, 699
N.E.2d 1142 (Ind. 1998) (suspension for not fewer than three years for use
of funds belonging to clients for purposes unrelated to those clients); Matter
of Towell, 699 N.E.2d 1138 (Ind. 1998) (suspension for not fewer than 18
months for use of escrowed client funds to pay obligations of another client,
without authorization from client whose funds were being held in escrow); Matter of
Manns, 685 N.E.2d 1071 (Ind. 1997) (suspension for not fewer than three years
for conversion of investor's funds). In light of precedent and the length
of the respondents suspension so far, we find that a minimum of a
three-year additional suspension is appropriate in this case, with any reinstatement expressly subject
to formal petition to this Court.
It is, therefore, ordered that the respondent, Allan G. Loosemore, Jr., is hereby
suspended from the practice of law for a period of not fewer than
three (3) years, effective immediately. In order to become reinstated to the
practice of law, the respondent must satisfy the requirements of Admis.Disc.R. 23(4).
The Clerk of this Court is further directed to provide notice of this
order in accordance with Admis.Disc.R. 23(3)(d) and to the hearing officer, and to
provide the clerk of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh
Circuit, the clerk of each of the United States District Courts in this
state, and the clerks of the United States Bankruptcy Courts in this state
with the last known address of respondent as reflected in the records of
Costs of this proceeding are assessed against the respondent.
Dickson, Sullivan, and Rucker, JJ., concur.
Shepard, C.J., dissents, with Boehm, J., joining in the dissent.
Information available in the public domain, however, makes it apparent that todays charge
is but a small piece of a lengthy story of massive financial misconduct
involving hundreds of thousands of dollars. Respondent has apparently robbed Peter to
pay Paul over a period of several years in order to feed a
serious addiction to gambling.
As a result, there have been multiple criminal indictments, arrests, and civil complaints
for damages filed in several counties. See, e.g., D. Hosick, Lawyer Facing
Charges for Mishandling Funds Arrested Again, Evansville Courier & Press, Oct. 25, 2001;
B. Rohrig, New Charges Filed Against Local Lawyer, Evansville Courier & Press, May
29, 2002; State v. Loosemore, No. 82C01-0110-CF-916 (13 counts of forgery, theft, and
credit card fraud).
It appears that none of these criminal or civil cases has come to
rest, and probably will not do so until Respondent, jailed since last October,
returns from a gambling addiction facility. Id. Until these multiple charges
are actually resolved somehow, we cannot take them as true. At the
very least, their existence militates against disposing of this disciplinary case on the
basis of a single count of misconduct.
Allan Loosemore spent a good many years as a productive member of the
profession, and the best outcome for him in this proceeding would have been
resignation. He has not resigned, however, and indeed has indicated he expects
to be disbarred. Rohrig, supra. Likewise, this Courts hearing officer recommended
he be disbarred.
In light of the Respondents publicly-declared expectation of disbarment, the hearing officers recommendation
of disbarment, Loosemores failure to oppose the recommendation of disbarment, and the state
of the public record about the probable scale of the actual misconduct, I
think the Court makes a mistake when it says, No, disbarment is too
harsh, three years is about right.