In 2010, Respondent authored a book purporting to be a true autobiographical account of Respondent's relationship from roughly 1990 through 2010 with a former client ("FC"), who was active in politics and at one point held a high-level job in the federal government. A sexual relationship between FC and Respondent began around 1990 and continued until about 2001. After their sexual relationship began, Respondent represented FC on various legal matters during these years. They maintained a personal relationship for a time thereafter. Respondent's professed motivation for writing the book was at least in part to recoup legal fees FC owed him and money FC had obtained from him over the years. ...
In the book, Respondent revealed personal and sensitive information about FC that was obtained in confidence as her attorney, and its revelation had the potential of causing her public embarrassment and other injury, such as impairment of her employment opportunities. Respondent's selfish motivation in deliberately attempting to reveal this confidential information to a wide audience for monetary gain, his false statements in the book and in this disciplinary matter, and his lack of any remorse lead us to conclude that that disbarment is appropriate for Respondent's misconduct.
The Court concludes that Respondent violated the Indiana Professional Conduct Rules by, among other things, revealing confidential, sensitive information relating to his representation of a former client by publishing it in a book for personal gain and by engaging in conduct involving dishonesty or misrepresentation.
For Respondent's professional misconduct, the Court disbars Respondent from the practice of law in this state effective August 28, 2013.
Joseph Stork Smith. Esq., was raised on a two hundred thirty nine acre family farm which he later owned and operated near Osgood, in southeastern Indiana. Joe graduated salutatorian from Jac-Cen-Del High School located in Osgood, Indiana. While in high school, Joe was President of his senior class, junior Prom King, and a delegate to Hoosier Boy’s State. He also played the trumpet in the band, the piano and keyboards in a rock and roll band. Also, he lettered two years in basketball and two years in baseball. Joe enjoys all sports and is an avid snow skier.He spent 21 days in Europe, including 10 days behind the Iron Curtain on a People-to-People Tour. He is a charter member of Jackson A. Raney Chapter of DeMoLay. In 4-H he was a Key Club award winner in the projects of Beef Cattle, Field Crops, and Gardening. Also was President of the Ripley County Junior Leaders, played American Legion baseball three summers, and is a member of the Osgood United Methodist Church.Joe holds the following degrees: A Bachelor of Science Degree (cum laude) from Indiana State University with a major in social science and a secondary teaching license; a Master of Science Degree from Indiana State University with a major in guidance and counseling and a minor in social sciences; plus twenty-one hours toward a Doctor of Education in the same field of study; and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, Indiana.Joe is a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Blue Key, Kappa Delta Pi (Education Honorary), Pi Gamma Mu (Social Science Honorary), Alpha Kappa Delta (Sociology Honorary), the legal fraternity Phi Delta Phi and the Bar of Indiana. While an undergraduate, he served as a Residence Hall Assistant and on the Advisory Committee to the School of Education. He was one of 24 sophomores chosen for special honor classes in Science and Social Science.Joe was a partner with his parents for twenty-six years in Smith Sales & Service, which was a Pioneer Hybrid Seed Company dealership. As an Apprentice Youth Agent for four summers, Joe was employed by Purdue University. In such capacity he worked with community development agents, agricultural agents and especially the Youth Agents. For two summers Joe managed the Hassmer Hill 4-H Camp located in Versailles State Park, Versailles, Indiana. As a graduate assistant at Indiana State University he worked one school year in the Personnel Office screening applicants for admission to the School of Education and curriculum planning and another school year he team-taught in the School of Educational Psychology.As a Deputy Attorney General of Indiana and in private practice he has tried thirty-three jury trials encompassing everything from defamation to condemnation. Joe is a Certified Domestic Law Mediator. As an Administrative Law Judge, Joe has served three different Indiana State Agencies. He continues a general practice of law with an emphasis on litigation and planning and settlement of estates. Since 1999, Joe has been President and sole owner of Buddy Covers, Inc. located in Carmel, Indiana. Buddy Covers, Inc. manufactures patented and trademarked protective covers for the commercial and military markets which are available on Buddy Covers.com. In addition to his years in business management, law, and human services he now has launched a new dimension to his multifaceted career, that of being an author.
HT: Indiana Law Blog