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Indiana Lawyer Suspended for ‘Illegal Alien’ Comment

September 20, 2013 (1 min read)

"An Indiana lawyer has been suspended for 30 days for a comment about the immigration status of his divorce client’s spouse in a letter sent to opposing counsel and the judge in the case.  The lawyer, Joseph B. Barker, wrote the letter in 2009 to protest his client’s lack of access to his child, according to the Indiana Supreme Court's Sept. 6 opinion, noted by the Legal Profession Blog.  Barker’s client “told me this week that he has only seen his baby … one day all year,” Barker wrote.  “Your client doesn't understand what laws and court orders mean I guess.  Probably because she's an illegal alien to begin with.  I want you to repeat to her in whatever language she understands that we'll be demanding she be put in JAIL for contempt of court.  I'm filing a copy of this letter with the court to document the seriousness of this problem.”  The Indiana Supreme Court said Barker’s letter violated ethics rules regarding conduct showing bias or prejudice, and conduct with no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, burden or delay a third person." - ABA Journal, Sept. 17, 2013.