A Winamac attorney who became romantically involved with a client while serving as his public defender has been disciplined by the Indiana Supreme Court. Lisa Traylor-Wolff has been permanently banned from judicial service, which means she will no longer be able to serve as a senior judge in Pulaski and Fulton Counties. Senior judges are attorneys who work part-time filling in for trial court judges and are also allowed to represent clients.
The charges against Traylor-Wolff stem from her relationship with a client she represented as a court-appointed public defender in September of 2011. The 26-year-old male was sentenced to 30 years in prison, and Traylor-Wolff was appointed his public defender for his appeal and reportedly became involved with him while he was incarcerated at the state prison in Miami County. Their relationship turned physical in May of 2012, according to the complaint filed against her in February, which notes that all of their contact occurred in a visitor’s room at the prison.
Additionally, Traylor-Wolff is suspended from practicing law for a year, but all of 45 days of her suspension are stayed subject to her successful completion of two years probation. During her suspension, she must comply with treatment monitored by the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program. She also cannot initiate any contact with her former client or commit any violation of the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct. Traylor-Wolff must also pay the costs of the judicial disciplinary proceeding. If she fully complies with the terms of her probation, her law license will be reinstated, but she must still comply with all probation terms during the remainder of her probation term.
Click here http://www.in.gov/judiciary/jud-qual/files/order-other-2013-09s00-1302-jd-148.pdf to view a copy of the Indiana Supreme Court filing.