In re Cooper, 011719 INSC, 06S00-1612-DI-645

Docket Nº:06S00-1612-DI-645, 32S00-1710-DI-665, 32S00-1712-DI-755
Opinion Judge:Loretta H. Rush, Chief Justice.
Party Name:In the Matter of: Jeffrey B. Cooper, Respondent
Case Date:January 17, 2019
Court:Supreme Court of Indiana
 
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In the Matter of: Jeffrey B. Cooper, Respondent

Nos. 06S00-1612-DI-645, 32S00-1710-DI-665, 32S00-1712-DI-755

Supreme Court of Indiana

January 17, 2019

PUBLISHED ORDER APPROVING STATEMENT OF CIRCUMSTANCES AND CONDITIONAL AGREEMENT FOR DISCIPLINE

Loretta H. Rush, Chief Justice.

Three separate disciplinary complaints have been filed by the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission against Respondent. Pursuant to Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 23(12.1)(b), the Commission and Respondent have submitted for approval a "Statement of Circumstances and Conditional Agreement for Discipline" stipulating agreed facts and proposed discipline for all three cases. We summarize those facts and agreed rule violations globally below.

Stipulated Facts: Respondent was retained in six different client representations to handle various matters such as post-death estate administration, property title transfer, drafting of trust and power-of-attorney instruments, and applications for benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA). Although the particulars of each count vary, the common thread in each is that Respondent accepted retainers and thereafter failed to adequately communicate with his clients or appropriately advance their cases. In two of these representations, Respondent took actions constituting the practice of law while he was administratively suspended for dues nonpayment and noncompliance with continuing legal education requirements. In one representation, Respondent failed to properly supervise a paralegal to whom he had delegated client work. After most of these clients filed grievances with the Commission, Respondent failed to timely respond to demands for information from the Commission, leading to the initiation of multiple show cause proceedings against Respondent and a suspension for noncooperation.

The parties cite as aggravating circumstances Respondent's pattern of misconduct, his commission of multiple violations, and his obstruction of the disciplinary process. The parties cite as mitigating circumstances Respondent's lack of prior discipline apart from the show cause proceedings, his early acceptance of responsibility for his noncooperation, his...

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