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IN RE: Charles DAUGHERTY (2022)

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Supreme Court of Indiana.

IN RE: Charles DAUGHERTY, Respondent

Supreme Court Case No. 22S-DI-216

Decided: October 12, 2022

Published Order Approving Statement of Circumstances and Conditional Agreement for Discipline

Pursuant to Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 23(12.1)(b), the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission and Respondent have submitted for approval a “Statement of Circumstances and Conditional Agreement for Discipline” stipulating agreed facts and proposed discipline as summarized below.

Stipulated Facts: In 2019, “Company” hired Respondent to represent it in a lawsuit, and Respondent filed his appearance. Over a three-month period in late 2021, Respondent failed to appear at two status conferences and two show cause hearings, the latter of which were scheduled for him to explain his previous absences. Respondent never provided Company any reason for his absence. After Respondent's appearance was withdrawn and Company hired a new attorney, Company requested the case file from Respondent, but he failed to provide it. Respondent admits he didn't properly communicate with Company or opposing counsel during the relevant times.

Violation: The parties agree that Respondent violated these Indiana Professional Conduct Rules prohibiting the following misconduct:

1.3: Failing to act with reasonable diligence and promptness.

1.4(a): Failing to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter.

1.16(d): Failing promptly to return to a client case file materials to which the client is entitled after termination of representation.

3.2: Failing to expedite litigation consistent with the interests of a client.

8.4(d): Engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

Discipline: The Court, having considered the submissions of the parties, now approves the following agreed discipline.

For Respondent's professional misconduct, the Court suspends Respondent from the practice of law for a period of 60 days, beginning on the date of this order, all stayed subject to completion of at least one year of probation with JLAP monitoring. The Court incorporates by reference the terms and conditions of probation set forth in the parties’ Conditional Agreement, which include among other things the parties’ agreement that any violation of probation shall result in the balance of Respondent's suspension being actively served without automatic reinstatement.

Notwithstanding the expiration of the minimum term of probation set forth above, Respondent's probation shall remain in effect until it is terminated pursuant to a petition to terminate probation filed under Admission and Discipline Rule 23(16).

The costs of this proceeding are assessed against Respondent. Pursuant to the parties’ stipulation, the Court hereby orders Respondent to pay $257.53 by check made payable and transmitted to the Clerk of the Indiana Supreme Court. Upon receipt, the Clerk is directed to disburse those funds as follows: (1) $7.53, payable to the Commission as reimbursement for investigative expenses incurred; and (2) $250.00, payable to the Clerk for court costs. The expenses of the hearing officer will be submitted separately.

With the acceptance of this agreement, the hearing officer appointed in this case is discharged with the Court's appreciation.

All Justices concur.

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