On Thursday, September 7, 2023, the Indiana Supreme Court issued a public reprimand to attorney Johnny W. Ulmer for violations arising from his representation of a client in a criminal appeal.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Johnny W. Ulmer,” with case no. 23S-DI-166.

The charges cited Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3 and 8.4(d) which states:

Failing to act with reasonable diligence and promptness.

Engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

According to the Court’s published order, Mr. Ulmer filed an appellant’s brief on behalf of his client in a direct criminal appeal that failed to adequately address the relevant facts or make a cogent legal argument. The brief’s statement of facts consisted of a single sentence and did not discuss information pertinent to the issue raised. The substantive argument section contained just two sentences without citations to the record. As a result, the Court of Appeals deemed the sole appellate claim waived, describing Mr. Ulmer’s brief as “woefully inadequate” and making “essentially no argument at all.”

The Supreme Court accepted Mr. Ulmer’s admission that he violated rules requiring reasonable diligence, promptness, and conduct not prejudicial to the administration of justice. Given his lack of prior discipline, the Court approved and imposed the parties’ agreed public reprimand as the appropriate sanction.

The Disposition states:

“The Court, having considered the submissions of the parties and Respondent’s lack of prior discipline, now approves the agreed discipline and imposes a public reprimand for Respondent’s misconduct.”

According to Avvo, Mr. Ulmer is the owner of Ulmer Law Offices, Inc. He practices in Bristol, Indiana. He acquired his law license in Indiana in 2007.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.