Attorney coming to court drinking
Lawyers h6 l&nger may 'live free and eqs>^ • Judge says INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The World War II hcro-turncd-lawyer sat quietly In the Indiana Supreme Court chambers chambers Tuesday as four black-robed justices justices prepared to publicly reprimand him for appearing In court too drunk to represent his client. The gavel sounded twice and Indianapolis Indianapolis attorney William C. Er- beckor was directed to the podium of the. nearly vacant courtroom, where he listened for 10 minutes as Chief Justice Richard M. Glvan warned him that lawyers no longer may "live free and easy." "Times have changed," said Givan, delivering only the fourth public reprimand reprimand In his 10 years on the state's highest court. "It used to be lawyers Court says judge has right to order city lived free and easy and did pretty much what they pleased. Discipline at the bar was minimal. •"But now We have a disciplinary ^mmlssion," .he continued. "It was set up by the bar because lawyers saw a weakness In that situation." '.Givan told Erbockcr that because his conduct might have been "winked at'"in times past, the court is "a little easier in cases like these." "None of the members of the court are naive enough to presume to give you a lecture on drinkng alcohol or even on your conduct in court," Givan vcrely." :' Justice Donald H. Hunter, the only pther court member who spoke during the proceeding, told Erbeckcr, "I think you have much to commend you, particularly your outstanding war record. I can tell you this had a great Influence on me in softening the blow." Erbccker responded to Glvan's lecture lecture with a brief statement. "I most humbly apologize and offer my deepest deepest .and most sincere apology to this highest tribunal for my disgraceful misconduct," he said. "I've violated the cannons of ethics," ethics," Erbecker continued. "I assure you there willnover be a repetition of my disgraceful misconduct." The court found Erbeckcr guilty of misconduct one month ago in an opi-. nion that said his conduct "went beyond beyond any reasonable standard of courtroom behavior." The charges against Erbccker were filed by the Indiana Disciplinary Commission, Commission, which recommended he be given a private reprimand because'he already had served 24 hours in jail for contempt of court in connection with the Incident, had practiced law for 40 years and had apologized for his behavior. behavior.