Attorneys sanctioned for use of advertising brochures

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Supreme Court – Per Curiam.

This matter is before the Court on the report of the hearing officer appointed by this Court to hear evidence on the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission’s “Verified Complaint for Disciplinary Action”. The Commission charged Respondents with violating the following Indiana Professional Conduct Rules: 7.2(b); 7.2(c)(3); 7.2(d)(2); and 7.3(c).

Conclusion (slip op. at 5): Respondents’ use of the phrase “commitment to obtaining the best possible settlement” did not violate the Rules of Professional Conduct and finds for Respondents on this charge. However, the Commission has demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that Respondents committed the remaining violations as charged.

Key Analysis (slip op. at 3, 4, 5): It is improper for an attorney to say he or she can obtain the best possible settlement for clients. Respondents, by contrast, promised prospective clients only a commitment to their cases, which clients have every right to expect . . . Respondents clearly used a public communication that contained information based on past performance, which is prohibited by Rule 7.2(d)(2) . . . Respondents admit that their use of the phrase “Legal Advertisement” rather than “Advertising Material” was a rule violation, but they contend that it was merely technical and inadvertent. Although the violation was inadvertent, we do not consider it to be a mere technicality . . . Respondents’ lack of warning that their advertising material appeared to contain rule violations did not deny them due process of law or otherwise prejudice them.

Shepard, C.J., and Dickson, and Boehm, JJ., concur. Sullivan and Rucker, JJ., concur except that they would find no violation of Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 7.2(d)(2).

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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