FOR THE RESPONDENT
FOR THE INDIANA SUPREME COURT DISCIPINARY COMMISSION
Donald R. Lundberg, Executive Secretary
Robert C. Shook, Staff Attorney
115 West Washington Street, Suite 1060
Indianapolis, IN 46204
IN THE MATTER OF ) ) CASE NO. 49S00-9805-DI-281 JORGE L. RODRIGUEZ )
In response, the respondent stated, None. In fact, the respondent was suspended
from the University of Miami in 1980. He was academically dismissed from
the University of Miami in 1983. He was academically dismissed from Nova
University College of Law in 1987. In 1993, the respondent offered
to the Board of Law Examiners to correct the omissions on his application.
Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.1 provides:
An applicant for admission to the bar, or a lawyer in connection with a bar admission application or in connection with a disciplinary matter, shall not:
knowingly make a false statement of material fact; or
fail to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension known by the person to have arisen in the matter, or knowingly fail to respond to a lawful demand for information from an admissions or disciplinary authority, except that this Rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
By failing to disclose his attendance at the University of Miami and Nova law school, his suspension from the University of Miami, and his academic dismissals from the University of Miami and Nova law school, the respondent violated Ind.Professional Conduct Rule 8.1.
This Courts discipline imposed for faulty disclosure on bar applications has varied, depending on the circumstances and any mitigating or aggravating factors. In Matter of Redding, 672 N.E.2d 76 (Ind. 1996), this Court suspended an attorney for 90 days pursuant to a conditional agreement where the attorney failed to disclose on her bar application a lawsuit in which she was a named defendant. This Court also found that the attorney misled the court while testifying in that suit. Because of mitigating factors, including the respondents relative youth and inexperience at the time of the misconduct and her clinical depression, this Court accepted the 90 day suspension.
In Matter of Lucas, 672 N.E.2d 934 (Ind. 1996), an attorney failed to disclose on both Indiana and Florida Bar admission applications three lawsuits in which he was a named defendant, a speeding ticket, an arrest for public intoxication, and various delinquent credit card accounts. Pursuant to a conditional agreement, this Court accepted the agreed discipline of public reprimand, in large part because of the parties stipulation that the respondents application omissions were the result of his fail[ing] to take sufficient care and time in completing [the applications] to reflect on the questions and consider their import . . . rather than the product of a conscious objective to deceive admissions authorities. Lucas, 672 N.E.2d at 936.
This Court disbarred an attorney in Matter of Verma, 691 N.E.2d 1211 (Ind. 1998), upon finding that the attorney deliberately falsified bar application responses on Pennsylania and Maryland questionnaires. His deceit was pervasive and included the forgery of certain documents to support his false claims. That attorney, who failed to appear at hearing, had been previously disciplined by this Court for falsifying an application for federal employment. Due to the sheer gravity and breadth of his deceptions, this Court imposed disbarment.
The present case presents misconduct more akin to that in Redding and Lucas in that it is mitigated by the respondents acknowledgement of his wrongdoing and his subsequent efforts with the Board of Law Examiners to correct the errors. In light of that, along with the fact that the discipline is the product of an agreed resolution, we find that it should be approved, but wish to make clear that 90 days is the minimum discipline this Court would accept for the respondents misconduct.
It is, therefore, ordered that the respondent, Jorge L. Rodriguez, be suspended from the practice of law in this state for ninety (90) days, beginning October 5, 2001, at the conclusion of which he shall be automatically reinstated.
The Clerk of this Court is further 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.