On Friday, May 5, 2023, the Indiana Supreme Court suspended attorney Susan M. Bryan-Wieczorek for misleading a client regarding her filing of a petition for bankruptcy.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Susan M. Bryan-Wieczorek,” with case no. 22S-DI-246.

The charges cited Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, 1.4(a)(3), 1.4(a)(4), 1.4(b), 1.16(d), 8.4(c) which states:

Failing to act with reasonable diligence and promptness.

Failing to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter.

Failing to comply promptly with a client’s reasonable requests for information.

Failing to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit a client to make informed decisions.

After the termination of representation, failing to refund an unearned fee and failing to return to a client case file materials to which the client is entitled.

Engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.

In February 2020, the respondent agreed to represent a client in a bankruptcy matter for a flat fee of $1,000 plus a $338 filing fee. The client initially paid $650 toward the fee and offered to pay the remaining balance, but the respondent did not respond to this communication. Despite the passage of 14 months, the same never filed a bankruptcy petition and consistently misled the client into thinking that she had.

Meanwhile, the client faced a small claims judgment and accumulated interest on debts owed. During the investigation, the respondent provided several letters to the commission that implied that the client had not paid the outstanding fee balance. However, the client never received these letters, and the content of those letters contradicted the written communications that the client did receive. One of the letters claimed that the respondent had terminated the representation in April 2021 due to unpaid fees.

The proposed disciplinary action put forth by both parties in regard to the misconduct of the respondent is a 180-day suspension with no automatic reinstatement. After carefully reviewing the arguments and materials presented by the parties, the court decided to grant the approval for the agreed-upon disciplinary action.

The Disposition states:

“For Respondent’s professional misconduct, the Court suspends Respondent from the practice of law in this state for an of not less than 180 days, without automatic reinstatement, June 15, 2023. Respondent shall not undertake any new legal matters between the service of this order and the effective date of the suspension, and Respondent shall fulfill all the duties of a suspended attorney under Admission and Discipline Rule 23(26).”

Ms. Bryan-Wieczorek practices in Hungtington, Indiana. She is licensed in Indiana Her info can be found on avvo.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.