FOR THE RESPONDENT FOR THE INDIANA SUPREME COURT
Duge Butler, Jr. Donald R. Lundberg, Executive Secretary
400 Barrister Building Robert C. Shook, Staff Attorney
155 E. Market St. 115 West Washington Street,Ste.1060
Indianapolis, IN 46204 Indianapolis, IN 46204
SUPREME COURT OF INDIANA
IN THE MATTER OF )
) Case No. 49S00-9904-DI-225
SCOTT R. JONES )
May 1, 2000
Today we find that the respondents repeated convictions of operating a motor vehicle
while intoxicated violate the Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys at Law.
Because of his misconduct, we find further that he should be suspended
from the practice of law, but that his suspension should be stayed provided
he undergo successful treatment and monitoring of his addiction.
This matter comes before us upon the respondent and the Disciplinary Commissions
of Circumstances and Conditional Agreement for Discipline, wherein they agree that the respondent
engaged in misconduct and that a conditionally stayed suspension from the practice of
law is the appropriate discipline. That agreement is now before us for
The parties agree that on March 17, 1983, March 6, 1987, and October
6, 1992, the respondent was convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
On August 12, 1998, he pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle
while intoxicated, a class D felony. Judgment of conviction for that offense was
ordered withheld until August 13, 2001, on the condition that he be placed
on probation for a period of three years, beginning August 12, 1998.
Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(b) provides that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer
to engage in a criminal act which reflects adversely on the lawyers honesty,
trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects. We have
held that a lawyers three convictions of OWI violated the rule because such
a pattern of misconduct revealed a general indifference to legal standards of conduct
and implicated the lawyers fitness as one who could be trusted to keep
his clients secrets, give effective legal advice, and fulfill his obligations to the
Matter of Martenet, 674 N.E.2d 549, 550 (Ind. 1996).
The respondents conduct, being essentially identical, also violates Ind.Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(b).
The respondent and the Commission agree that the respondent should be suspended from
the practice of law for a period of six months, with that suspension
suspended to probation concurrent with his period of criminal probation, conditional upon the
respondents completion of various aftercare provisions. In support of the respondents candidacy
for such probationary terms, the parties have submitted as mitigating factors various testimonials
from health care professionals, mental health professionals, and representatives of several professional assistance
groups. The statements contained therein generally indicate that the respondent is
undergoing psychotherapy and group therapy, medical treatment for his alcohol dependency, that he
regularly attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and that his prospects for successfully controlling his
addiction are bright. Similarly, the respondents criminal probation officer reported that the
respondent to date has complied fully with the terms of his probation.
These endorsements lead us to conclude that the respondent has voluntarily taken steps
to deal with his alcohol dependency, that he is making a significant personal
investment in his recovery, and therefore that probationary status is an adequate means
by which to address his misconduct. We are further persuaded of the
appropriateness of probation in this case because similar discipline has been imposed for
almost identical misconduct.
See Matter of Martenet, supra (six months suspension, suspended
to 12 months period of probation contingent on completion of various alcohol dependency
aftercare programs), reinstated at 694 N.E.2d 1143 (Ind. 1998). Accordingly, we approve
the parties Conditional Agreement and the discipline described therein.
Accordingly, it is ordered that the respondent, Scott R. Jones, is suspended from
the practice of law in this state for a period of six (6)
months, effective immediately. That period of suspension is hereby conditionally stayed, and
the respondent shall be subject to a period of probation until August 13,
2001. The specific terms of the period of probation include:
1. The respondent shall not violate any terms of his criminal probation under
cause number 06D02-9705-DF-217 in Boone Superior Court No. 2.
2. The respondent shall remain free from the use of alcohol or
other intoxicating or addicting substances or other drugs not prescribed for medically therapeutic
3. The respondent shall submit to supervision by a monitor selected through
mutual agreement of the respondent, his counsel, and the executive secretary of the
Disciplinary Commission. The monitor shall supervise the monitored lawyers compliance with the
terms of probation and will report to the Disciplinary Commission regarding the respondents
compliance with these terms.
4. The monitor shall report quarterly to the Disciplinary Commission with regard to
the respondents compliance. The monitor shall submit a final report to the
Disciplinary Commission upon completion of the probationary or monitoring period. The monitor
shall immediately report to the Disciplinary Commission any non-compliance by the respondent with
respect to the terms of probation. Copies of all reports shall be
provided to the respondent and his counsel.
5. During the period of probation, the respondent shall participate at least
three times weekly, but with as much additional frequency as the respondents medical
providers recommend, in meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or other appropriate twelve-step program specifically
authorized and approved by the executive secretary of the Disciplinary Commission. The
respondent shall submit a written quarterly report to his monitor in which he
verifies under oath his compliance with this provision or sets forth under oath
any instances of failure to comply with this provision and a detailed explanation
of such non-compliance. The respondent shall submit to this monitor the name
of an individual who can personally vouch for his attendance at the meetings
described above, or alternatively, submit written proof of meeting attendance acknowledged by the
initials of another individual in attendance at the meeting.
6. The respondent shall meet with his monitor at least monthly. Such
meetings shall be in person at such place and time determined by the
7. The respondent shall be subject to random alcohol/drug screens at the
frequency determined by the monitor, to include arriving at the designated screening site
within six hours of notification.
8. The respondent shall execute a Consent for the Release of Confidential
Information on a form provided by the Disciplinary Commission. The respondent further
agrees to waive all assertions of confidentiality or privilege associated with monitor or
treating health care providers.
9. At the conclusion of the probationary period, all consents for the
release of information and to the waiver of assertions of confidentiality or privilege
shall be revoked.
10. The respondent shall not violate the Rules of Professional Conduct during
his period of probation.
11. The respondent shall immediately report in writing to the Disciplinary Commission
any failure to comply with any of the terms of his probation and
specifically identify the type and circumstances of his violation.
12. The respondent shall pay all costs of compliance with the terms
of his probation.
13. The burden of compliance with the terms of probation remains with
the respondent at all times and does not shift to the Disciplinary Commission,
or its staff, the respondents monitor, the respondents therapist or any other person
14. If, during the respondents period of probation, the Disciplinary Commission should
have reasonable cause to believe that the respondent is in material breach of
any of the terms or conditions of his probation, the executive secretary may
petition the Supreme Court for relief from the conditionally stayed period of suspension.
If the respondent successfully completes his probation without violation of any term of
probation and upon the positive recommendation of his monitor, the respondent shall be
automatically fully reinstated to the practice of law, subject to the payment of
costs of this proceeding. If the respondent violates any terms of his
probation, he shall be suspended for the full six (6) month period which
was originally stayed and he shall be required to undergo the reinstatement process
pursuant to Ind.Admission and Discipline Rule 23, Section 4.
The Clerk of this Court is directed to provide notice of this
order in accordance with Admis.Disc. R. 23(3)(d) and to provide the clerk of
the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the clerk of
each of the Federal District Courts in this state, and the clerk of
the United States Bankruptcy Court in this state with the last known address
of respondent as reflected in the records of the Clerk.
Costs of this proceeding are assessed against respondent.