Legal Ethics

Lawyer who said he helped client buy marijuana to discredit informant loses license for 9 months

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What attorney David Schalk describes as an attempt to help a client by discrediting an informant has backfired badly.

Convicted in 2009 of misdemeanor attempted possession of marijuana as a result of trying to set the informant up in a private drug sting, Schalk has now had his law license suspended for a minimum of nine months by the Indiana Supreme Court, reports the Associated Press.

Schalk argued that he was forwarding his client’s defense by helping him buy marijuana from the informant, and said he intended to alert police after the private sting was completed that the informant was a drug dealer. But a hearing officer in Schalk’s legal ethics case found that he had engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice and committed a crime that adversely reflected on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness.

Saying that Schalk had a “complete lack of any insight into his misconduct,” the state’s top court held that the Bloomington lawyer’s actions “demonstrate his need for a substantial period of suspension.” The opinion was authored by Chief Justice Brent E. Dickson.

Schalk did not respond to an AP phone message seeking comment.

See also: “Defense Lawyer’s Effort to Discredit Informant by Arranging Drug Buy Gets Attorney Convicted”

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