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Horror Film Role Becomes Real-Life Horror for Young Attorney
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Attorney Barred For Sending Horror Film Clip

The circulation of a nude scene seemingly featuring a former co-worker led to one Indiana attorney’s suspension for three years. Arthur J. Usher, a former partner at Bose, McKinney & Evans, LLP, attempted to ridicule both Bose and their newest hire by sending a R-rated clip from a horror film in which the new hire had acted to the a wide swath of Indiana attorneys. Usher was sentenced to a three year suspension for practicing law by the Indiana Supreme Court, for what justices said was a “mean-spirited and vindictive attempt to embarrass and harm” an attorney who had rejected his romantic advances.

While Usher was a partner at Bose, Suzanna Hartzell-Baird joined the firm as an intern. Usher worked with Hartzell-Baird, and attempted to start a romantic relationship with her, which she resisted. After Hartzell-Baird was hired as an attorney at the firm, Usher discovered that she had acted in a low-budget horror movie in which she seemed to appear nude. Though Hartzell-Baird actually did not appear nude through the use of a body-double, Usher shared the clip with other attorneys at the firm under the pretense that it was indeed the firm’s new hire.

  
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The Wall Street Journal reports that when Hartzell-Baird learned that Usher was showing the clip to other attorneys in the office, she threatened him with a restraining order. Later, Usher worked with a paralegal to create a fake message board posting that included the video clip, and sent it to more than fifty attorneys throughout Indiana with the subject line “Bose means Snuff Porn Film Business.”

Hartzell-Baird filed a grievance with the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission and also sued Usher. The lawsuit was settled, and the commission ruled that Usher committed attorney misconduct by engaging in a pervasive pattern of dishonesty and misrepresentation, and he is now barred from practicing In Indiana for the next three years. Usher left Bose around the time that email was sent, and since the lawsuit and complaint were filed, was let go from his subsequent position.

“I’m happy that the interest of justice was served,” Hartzell-Baird told the Wall Street Journal.

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