New Rules for Lawyers and Judges: Living with the Rules; What is JLAP?

New Rules to Review

Six new sets of rules are going into effect for Indiana lawyers and judges on Jan. 1, 2013 based on a series of Ind. Supreme Court rulings issued in Sept.  The list of new 2013 orders (plus three effective July 1, 2012), if you have not seen them is here: http://www.in.gov/judiciary/2784.htm

It always pays to read the rules.

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Paying for Disclosure Violation

One hard fast rule in Bankruptcy Court is for the lawyer to disclose any interest, direct or indirect, in representations in the case.  In a recent bankruptcy case in Georgia, the lawyer was required to disclose any interest in any creditor of the bankrupt client before representing the client.  In this case the lawyer forgot to disclose that he and his wife were shareholders in a creditor bank, while her father had been bank president, board member and chair of the bank’s board, and to top it off, the lawyer’s former partner was general counsel to the bank.  Oops.

The opinion, as reported by the Business Reporting Committee, does a nice job of listing the five factors to used in determining if a disclosure misstatement is to be actionable, and here it clearly was an intentional misstatement of reality.  The court cut the law firm’s fees by $20,000 which should get these folks attention. And yours.

H/T Gregory Jordan for the link.

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What is JLAP?

One of the critical pieces of the legal system in Indiana was created in 1997, by adoption of Rule 31 of the Admission and Discipline Rules of the Supreme Court.

JLAP’s purpose “is assisting impaired members in recovery:” of all kinds.  It is designed to “provide assistance to judges, lawyers and law students who suffer from physical or mental disabilities that result from disease, chemical dependency, mental health problems or age that impair their ability to practice;…”

Terry Harrell is the extremely competent and compassionate Executive Director.  If you have questions about your situation, or the situation of a friend or colleague, you should review Rule 31 here and call JLAP for information and assistance.  The program has volunteers around the state, so you may get someone from nearby to provide assistance.

Of course the important thing is, if you or someone you know needs help, you should call. Today, or tomorrow. The impact of the call can be life saving, or might protect the rights and property of a client. Good faith calls get some qualified immunity under Section 9.  Call.  It is better than being required to report misconduct if you don’t call.

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One thought on “New Rules for Lawyers and Judges: Living with the Rules; What is JLAP?

  1. Pingback: A Lawyer’s Mouth can be Trouble: What Goes Out and What Comes In | Lawyers with Troubles

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