On Thursday, February 23, 2023, the Indiana Supreme Court suspended Haubstadt attorney Daniel J. Hancock for misconduct.

The case, titled In the Matter of Daniel J. Hancock, was brought by Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, with case #22S-DI-133.

The charges cited Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.3, 1.4(a)(4), 1.4(b), and 1.6(d).

The Indiana Professional Conduct Rules can be found here.

The disciplinary matter arose from the disciplinary complaint against Hancock filed by the Commission alleging Hancock of violating the professional conduct rules in his representation of his client in a misdemeanor case. The respondent allegedly failed to act with reasonable diligence and promptness and failed to comply with the client’s reasonable requests for information. It was further alleged that Hancock failed to explain a matter to allow the client to make informed decisions. Moreover, Hancock was alleged to have failed to refund the unearned fees upon the termination of the representation.

The filing states:

“Respondent was hired to represent “Defendant” on a pending misdemeanor charge and was paid a $1,000 retainer by Defendant’s “Girlfriend.” Respondent did not enter his appearance in the case or appear at a scheduled hearing in March 2021. The morning of the hearing, Respondent texted Girlfriend and advised her to request a continuance from the trial court.”

The filing continues:

“The hearing was reset for a date in April. Respondent did not respond to communications from Girlfriend and Defendant leading up to the hearing, nor did he respond to texts sent during the hearing after he again failed to appear. Defendant fired Respondentafterthe hearing, andthereafterRespondentfailed to respond to multiple demands from Defendant and Girlfriend for a refund. Girlfriend sued Respondent in small claims court and was awarded a default judgment, which Respondent has not paid.”

Hancock failed to file an answer to the complaint, hence, the Commission filed a Motion for Judgment.

For these reasons, the hearing officer took the facts alleged in the complaint as true, and the matter was tried on sanction alone.

In light of the foregoing, the Court found the respondent to have violated the rules of professional conduct as charged and suspended Hancock from the practice of law for a period of not less than 60 days, without automatic reinstatement, effective April 6, 2023.

Hancock’s reinstatement will be conditioned upon clear and convincing evidence of Hancock’s remorse, rehabilitation, and fitness to practice law. Hancock shall also make a full refund to the client.

Costs were assessed against Hancock.

Mr. Daniel Jewel Hancock practiced in Haubstadt, Indiana. He graduated from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 2002.  He has been admitted to Indiana in 2002, and Kentucky in 2003. His info can be found on Avvo.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.