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Despite my possession of only an inactive and worthless to me Indiana law

license, it was my great misfortune to experience the Star Chamber features of the
Indiana Supreme Courts Attorney Disciplinary Commission a few years ago,
culminating in the publication of an Opinion in 2011 identified by my surname but
lacking any factual truth whatsoever.
It was my pleasure during the course of those You cant make this up
experience to have both reason and opportunity to label Donald Lumberg, then
current but now past executive director, as a first class ass, which was spot on.
His successor, G. Michael Witte, is equal to the title for he, too, is a first class ass.
Only a lawyer who works in the setting of a sole proprietor, a two lawyer
partnership, or a three lawyer small firm will be able to relate, on a personal level,
to my bitter flavored acerbic drenched comments.
It took me a full career to realize that as a sole proprietor my every action,
spoken and written words, sometimes private thoughts, are being policed by the
probing eyes and ears of the attorney discipline commission. Forget any notion of
freedom of expression, constitutional protections notwithstanding.
These bureaucratic regulatory bodies are not intended to remove from the
ranks only those unfit and scurrilous renegade lawyers who have violated a serious
criminal law, such as selling addictive drugs to children playing at a school yard,
molesting a minor, killing a spouse, robbing a bank or stealing from widows.
Those bad acts by bad people happen but not with the frequency required to
keep busy the staff attorneys, paralegals, clerks, and secretaries gainfully employed
at very competitive wage scales to maintain the operational apparatus of a taxpayer
funded attorney disciplinary commission.
The real target for the activities of the ethics police are the single, dual, or
triple lawyer occupied office typically used by those who have real clients with
real problems requiring the attention of real lawyers to assist them with solving
their real legal problems.
The reason or motivation for this obsession with policing the small fry in the
pond of lawyers is that the white gloved silk stocking marque lawyers have never
been comfortable with the idea that the glamour of their law licenses is shared with
peasant folk they deem unworthy of the sacred moniker, lawyer.

After all, big firm power lawyers are the only real lawyers, those worthy
descendants of the authentic attorneys of the Robber Barron Age, ancestors who
populated the plushy Victorian Era country clubs, sipped chilled brandy or gin in
the exclusive executive rooms, smoked aromatic Cuban cigars, and, of course, did
then and still continue to charge hideously outrageous fees for their dubious
services without the faintest blush of embarrassment.
Those real lawyers live in daily fear that the non-prosperous of the sacred
profession will sully the publics image of lawyers. Lawyers working alone in an
office, or in a rural or urban two or three lawyer partnership, cannot be trusted to
comply, by the use of voluntary self-regulation, with rules of good behavior, proper
etiquette, and traditional courtesies.
The solution to the dilemma is to have the taxpayers of the state fund an
apparatus that does the job, supposedly, of keeping the pretenders in line by being
the sole prosecutors, judges, and juries that impose punitive sanctions symbolically
reminiscent of gangland floggings, water boarding, and other behavior control and
modification methods intended to generate a level of fear sufficient to keep the
rascals under control. Do as we say they say or deal with the consequences of loss
of that prized license.
Attorney disciplinary commissions do not discipline lawyers employed by
large sized, influential, and politically connected law firms. The dietary food for
this predatory regulatory animal is the small time lawyer like me, working alone,
lacking influence, and having no political connections whatsoever.
Not that myself or others similarly situated are bad people who require
because of our impulsive tendencies at the root of our mischievous misbehavior
and misconduct close monitoring by the vigilant eyes of a board of disciplinarians
controlled by and composed of gilded lawyers who never want to be placed in the
embarrassing position of being counted among and grouped with those of us, the
peasant class, who are only pretenders to inclusion within the esteemed profession
of lawyers.
The good news is that disciplinary vultures cannot take away from me or
you the memories of a fulfilling career featuring the genuine joy of helping others
resolve their legal dilemmas, preferring not to be a tool of those possessing insider
trading secrets, access to political influence, or prestigious executive titles.

My preference is to assist the disabled, the middle class wage earner, the lost
immigrant, the economically disadvantaged, and the homeless battling the demons
of mental disorders.
Someone has to try to level the playing field and engage in the battle against
the deceptive insurance adjustors, the negligent doctors with massive egos, and the
dishonest financial advisors who steal from and deplete the savings in a retirees
modest pension account.
If you choose as I did many years ago to embark on a career as a lawyer in a
mold similar to my choosing of being a sole proprietor, a member of a two lawyer
partnership, or a small group three lawyer firm, just remember that the staff at the
attorney disciplinary commission has identified you as a target in the crosshair of
their powder packed regulatory muskets.
Some unsuspecting day it could be you called to appear before the attorneys
version of the Spanish Inquisition. Practice a proper curtsy, learn to speak a sincere
Yes sir every chance you get, and by all means learn to say Im sorry as if you
actually mean it.
Those first class asses play with a loaded hand dealt from a crooked deck of
playing cards.
Patrick K. Rocchio
Michigan Attorney
Coldwater, Michigan