Lisa Traylor-Wolff: Who Is The Indiana Judge Accused Of Sex With A Client?
Lisa Traylor-Wolff, an attorney and senior part-time judge serving in Pulaski and Fulton counties in northern Indiana, is facing three disciplinary charges from the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications after allegations that she had sexual relations at the Miami Correctional Facility in Peru, Ind., with a client, according to reports.
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The charges, which are only allegations at this point, from the seven-member commission that investigates alleged ethical misconduct by judges stem from an alleged "physically intimate relationship with a 26-year-old client" who Traylor-Wolff had been appointed to represent on felony charges, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Indiana Supreme Court. The alleged relationship would be a violation of the Code of Conduct that applies to all judges.
"The defendant was eventually convicted and sentenced to the Department of Correction," said the statement. "Traylor-Wolff continued representing the client on appeal. The commission alleges she began a romantic relationship with the client while representing him. The commission also alleges inappropriate conduct occurred when Traylor-Wolff and the client were in an attorney-client visitation room at the Miami Correctional Facility."
"Only the five members of the Supreme Court can determine what, if any, allegations are true," the statement said.
The three charges of violating the Code of Judicial Conduct that Traylor-Wolff -- who didn't ask to be recertified as a senior judge in 2013 -- faces, are:
1. One which prohibits a lawyer from having sexual relations with a client
2. One which prohibits a lawyer from representing a client if there is a significant risk that the representation will be materially limited by a personal interest of the lawyer
3. One which requires a judge to promote confidence in the integrity of the judiciary and to avoid impropriety
The commission also alleged that Traylor-Wolff violated a section of the code of conduct "which prohibits judges from engaging in activities that would appear to undermine the judge's independence, integrity or impartiality."
Traylor-Wolff, who works part-time to fill in for trial court judges while practicing law, has 20 days to respond to the charges. After a response is filed, or the deadline passes, the commission's statement said that the Indiana Supreme Court, which has final authority over judicial discipline, will appoint three masters to conduct a public hearing. The court has a range of options from dismissing the charges to imposing a lifetime ban on holding a judicial office in Indiana.
According to an online biography on the website for the Leeman Law Office in Logansport, here are six things to know about Traylor-Wolff:
1. She is a former Superior Court Judge for Pulaski County.
2. She is a former Deputy City Attorney for the City of Logansport.
3. She is a member and former president of the Pulaski County Bar Association.
4. She is the current member of the Cass County Bar Association and the Indiana State Bar Association.
5. She graduated from Ball State University in 1982 with a bachelor's degree.
6. She graduated from Valparaiso School of Law in 1986 with a J.D.
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