Legal Ethics

Lawyer, who's also a part-time judge, faces judicial discipline case over conduct with jailed client

A part-time Indiana judge and practicing attorney is facing a disciplinary case concerning her recent work as a public defender.

While representing an unidentified imprisoned client on appeal, Lisa Traylor-Wolff became sexually involved with the man and participated in inappropriate behavior in a visiting room at the Miami Correctional Facility, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications contends. In a legal ethics complaint, it accuses Traylor-Wolff, who worked as a senior judge in Fulton and Pulaski counties, of violating disciplinary rules against having a sexual relationship with a client, representing a client in a matter in which there is a significant risk of a material conflict of interest and engaging in activities that might call into question a judge’s independence, integrity or impartiality, according to the Associated Press and WRTV.

The AP article says Traylor-Wolff also represented the client at the trial level.

The articles don’t include any comment from Traylor-Wolff, who apparently hasn’t yet answered the Indianapolis ethics complaint, or Traylor-Wolff’s counsel. Traylor-Wolff did not seek recertification as a senior judge in 2013, according to Fox 59 News .

Although the claimed conduct concerns only to work Traylor-Wolff did as a lawyer, the commission says judicial conduct standards still apply, the station reports.

A special master appointed to hear the case and the state supreme court would have to agree that there has been misconduct before any disciplinary sanction could issue.

Untitled Document

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.