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IN RE: Matthew C. PIATT (2020)

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Supreme Court of Indiana.

IN RE: Matthew C. PIATT, Respondent

Supreme Court Case No. 20S-DI-6

Decided: October 16, 2020

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: Respondent was arrested five times between April 2017 and August 2018 for offenses involving public intoxication and operating a vehicle while intoxicated (“OWI”). Respondent failed to notify the Commission of his first OWI conviction. Respondent also did not timely respond to the Commission's demand for information, leading to the initiation of show cause proceedings that eventually were dismissed when Respondent belatedly complied.

Respondent has no prior discipline and has voluntarily taken several measures to respond to his misconduct, including among other things entering into a monitoring agreement with the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (“JLAP”).

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

8.1(b): Failing to respond in a timely manner to the Commission's demands for information.

8.4(b): Committing criminal acts that reflect adversely on the lawyer's trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer.

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

Discipline: The Court, having considered the submission 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 180 days, beginning on the date of this order, with 90 days actively served and the remainder stayed subject to completion of at least two years 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:

(1) Respondent shall refrain from alcohol and all mind-altering substances except as prescribed.

(2) Respondent shall have no arrests and no violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct during his probation.

(3) If Respondent violates the terms of his probation, the stay of his suspension shall be vacated and the stayed suspension shall be 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. 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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