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IN RE: Trezanay M. ATKINS (2020)

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Supreme Court of Indiana.

IN RE: Trezanay M. ATKINS, Petitioner

Supreme Court Case No. 49S00-1306-DI-435

Decided: April 07, 2020

Published Order Granting Conditional Reinstatement to the Practice of Law

On September 22, 2014, this Court suspended Petitioner for not less than two years without automatic reinstatement, effective November 3, 2014. Petitioner filed a petition for reinstatement on March 4, 2019, and we appointed a hearing officer. Following an evidentiary hearing, the hearing officer issued a report on February 7, 2020 (amended on February 11, 2020), recommending that Petitioner be reinstated to the practice of law in Indiana either conditionally or unconditionally. Neither party has filed a petition for review.

A petition for reinstatement may be granted only if the petitioner proves by clear and convincing evidence that:

(1) The petitioner desires in good faith to obtain restoration of his or her privilege to practice law;

(2) The petitioner has not practiced law in this State or attempted to do so since he or she was disciplined;

(3) The petitioner has complied fully with the terms of the order for discipline;

(4) The petitioner's attitude towards the misconduct for which he or she was disciplined is one of genuine remorse;

(5) The petitioner's conduct since the discipline was imposed has been exemplary and above reproach;

(6) The petitioner has a proper understanding of and attitude towards the standards that are imposed upon members of the bar and will conduct himself or herself in conformity with such standards;

(7) The petitioner can safely be recommended to the legal profession, the courts, and the public as a person fit to be consulted by others and to represent them and otherwise act in matters of trust and confidence, and in general to aid in the administration of justice as a member of the bar and an officer of the Courts; and

(8) The disability has been removed, if the discipline was imposed by reason of physical or mental illness or infirmity, or for use of or addiction to intoxicants or drugs.

Admis. Disc. R. 23(18)(b)(3).

This Court, being duly advised, finds that the recommendation of the hearing officer should be accepted and that Petitioner should be conditionally reinstated as a member of the Indiana bar and placed on probation for a period of three years, during which time Petitioner shall continue to receive counseling from either her current provider or another provider acceptable to the Commission. Additionally, as prerequisites to entering solo practice, Petitioner shall do all of the following:

(1) Schedule an intake meeting with the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (JLAP), and any subsequent meetings determined by JLAP to be appropriate, to address the transition to private practice, any barriers to success as a solo practitioner, and any signs of stress that Petitioner may be undergoing;

(2) Seek a mentor to review and assist in setting up a trust account ledger and ensuring compliance with all rules governing attorney trust accounts;

(3) Provide to her mentor a detailed budget plan indicating her financial ability to begin and sustain her solo practice; and

(4) Acquiesce to random audits of her solo practice financial records by the Commission, including but not limited to her attorney trust account.

Upon expiration of the probationary period, Petitioner may submit a petition for release from probation provided she has fully complied with the terms of her probation.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the petition for reinstatement is hereby GRANTED and that Petitioner is conditionally reinstated as a member of the bar of this State subject to the terms of probation stated above.

Petitioner shall pay any costs owing under Admis. Disc. R. 23(21)(b). The hearing officer appointed in this case is discharged.

All Justices concur.

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