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South Bend attorney suspended 1 year for practicing while suspended

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission has suspended a South Bend attorney for one year for practicing law while his license was suspended.

In December 2017, Marcus Ellison was suspended from practicing law for 90 days without automatic reinstatement for neglect of an appeal, "pervasive dishonesty toward his client, the Court of Appeals, and the Commission."

Ellison allegedly failed to file an appeal for a client, then lied to the client about whether the appeal was filed, according to the court documents.

When the client filed a complaint with the disciplinary commission, Ellison allegedly lied to the commission during its investigation.

That investigation led to Ellison's 90 day suspension that began on January 31, 2018.

In February 2018, Ellison engaged in settlement discussions for client 1 and identified himself as the attorney for client 2 when requesting discovery documents, according to court documents.

The court said he also failed to provide notice of his suspension in all pending matters and has failed to withdraw as counsel in those cases, reports said.

In addition, a client 3 was harmed because a summary judgement and final judgment were awarded against the client while Ellison was suspended and not able to act on the client's behalf, reports said.

Ellison responded to the allegations that he practiced law while suspended.

He did not deny attempting settlement discussions for client 1 after his suspension, reports said.

Ellison admitted to sending a letter to opposing counsel for client 2 after his suspension, reports said.

As for client 3, Ellison said the entry of summary judgement was the result of a settlement that happened before he was suspended, reports said.

The court found Ellison violated his suspension and imposed a fine and lengthened his suspension.

He must pay a $750 fine and will be suspended for one year without automatic reinstatement.

If the $750 fine is not paid within 30 days, Ellison must serve 15 days in jail.

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