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Indiana Supreme Court disbars Fort Wayne attorney Donald James

Posted at 12:09 PM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 12:09:02-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Supreme Court disbarred a Fort Wayne attorney this week for mismanaging his trust account and stealing clients' funds.

In a decision posted Tuesday, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled unanimously to revoke Donald E. James' license to practice law in the state of Indiana.

According to the court, James never appeared or cooperated during any of the disciplinary hearings against him – which accused him of a pattern of misconduct, some of it criminal.

"The hearing officer cited as aggravating factors respondent’s dishonest and selfish motive, his pattern of misconduct comprising multiple offenses, the criminal nature of some of his misconduct, his deceptive practices during the Commission’s investigation, and his refusal to acknowledge the wrongfulness of his actions," the court wrote.

James is accused of significantly overdrawing his attorney trust account on multiple occasions, regularly commingling personal funds with client funds and making unauthorized cash and check withdrawals for his own purposes.

The court noted that James is already under suspension in two other cases for failure to cooperate with investigations into his conduct.