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In re Thonert
Indiana Supreme Court
733 N.E.2d 932 (2000)
Attorney Richard Thonert represented a client who pleaded guilty to driving under the influence (DUI), then tried unsuccessfully to withdraw his plea. Thonert appealed up to the Indiana Supreme Court but did not prevail. A year later, Thonert represented a second client who tried to withdraw a guilty plea to DUI. Thonert did not tell the client that Thonert had just lost an appeal raising the same issues. Again the trial court refused to allow the plea withdrawal, and Thonert appealed to the appellate court—without citing the Indiana Supreme Court’s previous decision or arguing that it should not control. Opposing counsel likewise failed to raise the precedential decision. The state disciplinary board charged Thonert with violating the ethical rule that requires an attorney to disclose adverse controlling authority known to the attorney unless disclosed by opposing counsel. The parties agreed that public reprimand would be an appropriate sanction.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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