On Monday, February 27, 2023, the Indiana Supreme Court suspended Monticello attorney Clinton A. Hardesty for missing his scheduled court appearances.
The case, titled “In the Matter of Clinton A. Hardesty,” was brought by Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission. Case #22S-DI-290.
The charges cited Indiana Professional Conduct Rules 1.3 (Failing to act with reasonable diligence), 3.4(c) (knowingly disobeying an obligation under the rules or an order of a court), and 8.4(d) (engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice).
The Indiana Professional Conduct Rules can be found here.
The disciplinary matter arose from a two-count disciplinary complaint against Hardesty filed by the Commission alleging Hardesty of violating the above-cited professional conduct rules. In both Counts 1 and 2, Hardesty was alleged to have failed to diligently represent client matters by either arriving late for a scheduled trial or failing to appear for the subsequent trial which resulted in the Court ordering Hardesty’s appearance be withdrawn in both client matters. It was further alleged that Hardesty failed to cooperate with the Commission’s investigation.
The filing states:
‘In the short time since he was admitted to practice law in Indiana, Respondent has engaged in a pattern of misconduct and a dereliction of an attorney’s most fundamental duties. Respondent caused two separate mistrials in one case, and in both cases, his repeated failures to appear for scheduled court proceedings squandered judicial resources and caused inconvenience for his clients and others.’
The filing additionally notes:
‘Respondent is currently suspended from the practice of law for noncooperation with the Commission’s investigations of grievances against him. He also is administratively suspended for noncompliance with his continuing legal education requirements.’
Hardesty neither appeared nor responded to the disciplinary complaint, hence, the Commission filed a Motion for Judgment on the complaint.
For these reasons, the hearing officer took the facts alleged in the complaint as true. Moreover, no petition for review of the hearing officer’s report has been filed to the Court.
Accordingly, the Court concurred with the hearing officer’s report finding Hardesty to have violated the rules of professional conduct as charged and concluded that an Order suspending Hardesty from the practice of law without automatic reinstatement is warranted in the interest of the public and to preserve the integrity of the legal profession.
Costs were assessed against Hardesty.
Prior to the suspension, Mr. Clinton A. Hardesty is a practicing lawyer serving Monticello, Indiana. He graduated from Valparaiso University School of Law in 2019. Hardesty has been licensed in Indiana. His online bio can be found on LinkedIn.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.