FOR THE RESPONDENT
David K. Galloway, Sr., pro se
FOR THE INDIANA SUPREME COURT DISCIPINARY COMMISSION
Donald R. Lundberg, Executive Secretary
Dennis K. McKinney, Staff Attorney
115 West Washington Street, Suite 1060
Indianapolis, IN 46204
SUPREME COURT OF INDIANA
IN THE MATTER OF )
) CASE NO. 64S00-9908-DI-428
DAVID K. GALLOWAY, SR. )
June 9, 2000
The respondent, David K. Galloway, Sr., admits that he neglected the legal affairs
of clients and that he failed to abide by a federal court order,
an act which resulted in his being held in contempt of court.
He also agrees that those acts violate the Rules of Professional Conduct for
Attorneys at Law.
This attorney disciplinary matter is now before us for approval of a
of Circumstances and Conditional Agreement for Discipline presented to us by the respondent
and the Disciplinary Commission in resolution of this matter, pursuant to Ind. Admission
and Discipline Rule 23, Section 11(c). The parties agreement calls for the respondents
suspension from the practice of law for a period of three years, without
automatic reinstatement. The respondents admission to the bar of this state
on June 1, 1984, confers jurisdiction on this Court.
As to each count, the parties have stipulated to the following facts:
In July 1992, a client, serving as executrix of her grandmothers estate, hired
the respondent to handle the estate proceedings. The estate was relatively small,
consisting of a checking account, a savings account, a certificate of deposit, a
mutual fund, and Northern Indiana Public Service Company stock. The respondent opened the
estate on August 28, 1992. The client asked the respondent to file
a qualified disclaimer on the checking and savings accounts and the mutual fund
because her name was on those accounts, but she wanted the money to
go into the estate. During the next several months, the client attempted
to contact the respondent regarding the disclaimer form, but he never returned her
In January 1993, the respondent advised the client that the necessary documents would
be ready for her signature in one week. However, the respondent did not
thereafter contact the client, and she again tried to telephone him without success.
Finally, in May 1993, the respondent met with the client and presented
to her documents which she signed. Among the documents was the disclaimer
form. The respondent advised the client that she would receive copies of
the documents in one week. Again, contrary to his assertions, the respondent
did not perform. In July 1993, upon contacting the court, the client
learned that the only documents on file in her grandmothers estate were those
opening the estate in August 1992. Further, the court advised her that
it was by then too late to file any disclaimer.
On August 4, 1993, the client advised the respondent that she was terminating
the representation and she retained another attorney to close the estate.
Professional Conduct Rule 1.3 requires lawyers to act with reasonable diligence and
promptness while representing clients. The respondents failure to file with the court
the disclaimer before the filing expiration violated the rule.
The respondents failure to respond to the clients repeated telephone calls or provide
her with information in response to her numerous requests for information about the
estate matter violated Ind.Professional Conduct Rule 1.4(a), which requires lawyers to keep clients
reasonably informed about the status of matters and promptly comply with reasonable requests
From 1990 through 1996, the respondent was a partner in the law firm
of Galloway and Jackson. In July 1991, an attorney associated with the
respondent in the law firm filed suit for back wages on behalf of
a client against the clients former employer. On June 1, 1995, the
suit was dismissed for lack of prosecution pursuant to Ind.Trial Rule 41(E).
The law firm did not notify the client that his claim had been
Professional Conduct Rule
5.1(c)(2) provides that a lawyer is responsible for another lawyers
violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if the lawyer is a partner
in the law firm in which the other lawyer practices (or has direct
supervisory authority over the other lawyer) and knows of the conduct at a
time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take
reasonable remedial action. Galloway and Jackson lawyers failed diligently to prosecute the
clients claim for back wages in violation of Prof.Cond.R. 1.3. By thereafter
failing to advise the client that his lawsuit had been dismissed, the firm
violated Prof.Cond.R. 1.4(a). While a partner at the law firm of
Galloway and Jackson, the respondent was responsible for violations of the Rules of
Professional Conduct committed by other lawyers in the firm to the extent that
the respondent knew of the conduct when its consequences could have been mitigated
The respondent filed a personal injury action on behalf of a client in
the Porter Superior Court in March 1992. The respondent also represented the
client in a bankruptcy proceeding, but did not include the personal injury action
as an asset on the bankruptcy asset schedules. In November 1993, after
the bankruptcy court learned of the clients personal injury action, the court ordered
the respondent to turn over the clients personal injury file to the trustee
handling the clients bankruptcy. Despite the order, the respondent did not turn
over to the trustee the personal injury file. On April 5, 1999,
the respondent pled guilty to criminal contempt of the bankruptcy court, based on
his failure to relinquish the file as ordered. His actions also constituted
a violation of federal law.
Professional Conduct Rule 3.4(c) provides that a lawyer shall not knowingly disobey an
obligation under the rules of a tribunal except for an open refusal based
on an assertion that no valid obligation exists. The respondent violated Prof.Cond.R.
3.4(c) by failing to obey the bankruptcy courts order that he turn over
to the trustee the clients bankruptcy file. By later being found in
contempt of court for that failure, as well as violating federal law, the
respondent violated Prof.Cond.R. 8.4(c) by committing a criminal act which reflects adversely on
his honesty, trustworthiness, and fitness as a lawyer in other respects.
Having found the respondent guilty of professional misconduct, we must consider the appropriateness
of the agreed sanction, and in so doing we examine the nature of
the misconduct. The respondents refusal to obey the bankruptcy courts order, to
the point of being found in contempt of court, brings with it strong
negative implications on the respondents fitness as an attorney. His acts
frustrated the efficient operation of the court while they tended to hinder and
delay favorable resolution of his clients legal issues. His failure to
protect the interests of clients was also evident in his neglect of the
legal matters which they had entrusted to him. In past instances of
multiple client neglect and contempt of court, we have found that a three-year
suspension from the practice of law was appropriate.
Matter of Drozda, 653
N.E.2d 991 (Ind. 1995), Matter of Jarrett, 602 N.E.2d 131 (Ind. 1992).
In light the above considerations and the fact that this is an agreed
resolution, we accept the imposition of the three-year suspension for the respondents misconduct.
It is, therefore, ordered that the respondent, David K. Galloway, Sr., is hereby
suspended from the practice of law for a period of not fewer than
three (3) years, beginning July 14, 2000. At the conclusion of that
period, he may petition this Court for readmission to the bar of this
state, provided he can satisfy the conditions set forth in Admis.Disc.R. 23(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 United States District Courts in this state, and the clerks of the
United States Bankruptcy Courts 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 the respondent.
Shepard, C.J., and Sullivan, Boehm, and Rucker, JJ., concur.
Dickson, J., dissents, believing the agreed sanction is excessive.
The agreed facts do not expressly establish that the respondent knew that
the wage case was languishing before the T.R. 41(E) motion was granted or
that the client had not been notified of the cases dismissal, but we
nonetheless find a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct pursuant to Prof.Cond.R.
5.1(c)(2) because of the respondents agreement that such a violation occurred.
See 18 U.S.C. 152(9).