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Court: Celadon 'general counsel' lacks license, can't practice law

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A top executive of Celadon Group Inc. can no longer represent himself as the Indianapolis-based trucking company’s attorney because of a glaring omission—he is not licensed to practice law in Indiana.

Kenneth L. Core, who used the title of "vice president of risk management and general counsel" in letters and electronic correspondence, is prohibited from practicing in the state until he obtains a law license, according to a March 12 Indiana Supreme Court order.

Core, who earned $191,584 in total compensation last year, is Celadon's fifth-highest-paid executive, according to the company’s most recent proxy statement. His formal title is vice president and secretary.

The Supreme Court order stems from an Oct. 22 filing from the state’s Disciplinary Commission alleging Core had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.

Core agreed to a settlement, in which he is prohibited from “holding himself out as ‘counsel,’ ‘general counsel,’ or any other title suggesting his status as an attorney licensed in Indiana to provide legal advice and legal services … unless and until such time as he obtains a license to practice law in Indiana.”

He formerly practiced law in Iowa between 1975 and 1993. The state suspended his law license in 1993 for failing to pay its annual license fee and for failing to comply with its continuing legal education requirements, the Supreme Court order said.

Core admitted to the Disciplinary Commission that he is not licensed to practice in Indiana and provided evidence that Celadon was aware that he lacked the credentials to do so.
 
Paul Will, Celadon’s vice chairman and chief financial officer, referred to Core’s mistake as a “misunderstanding.”

“The resolution is that he just needs to get his CLE credits in Iowa so that he can get his Indiana [law] license,” he said. “It’s kind of a slap-on-the-wrist formality.”

Will further said an individual who had a dispute with the company pressed the issue and filed the complaint.
 

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  • re
    Marsha,

    I cannot believe you are worried about the Celadon pseudo counsel when you have a county prosecutor who appears to be on the take.Have you filed a complaint against him? That's the kind of guy who makes lawyers look bad.

    Get your priorities straight!
  • License
    Core's failure to know the rules for practice in Indiana is more than a "misunderstanding" It is arrogant and irresponsible. Companies around the country bring in General Counsel from other states. The first thing a new GC does is make sure he/she can practice in the state where they just relocated. Core, who according to the article, hasn't been responsible enough to maintain his legal license since 1993 doesn't deserve to call himself counsel, and definitely not general counsel. The actions of the Commission and the Court are appropriate. Celedon should start a search for a new GC.
  • Here are two lawyers who need jobs!
    Well, now that we all know Tim's source of funding has dried up he's going to need a job...and Carl, well, i don't know who would hire him but it sure looks like he needs a job too. They both have law licenses!
  • ha ha ha
    ha! you funny. a lawyer that "plays by the rules"? kma!
  • Rules are for others
    Its very common for large companies to have out of state general counsels come to Indiana and pretend they can practice law. I think this is a very proper ruling by the court.
  • Lawyer
    I have my Indiana license, and over 18 years of experience. Hire me, Celadon!
  • Unlicensed Lawyer
    It's hardly a formality when this guy apparently has not been licensed to practice law anywhere for more than 16 years. He's the kind of person who gives the rest of us - attorneys who play by the rules - a bad name.

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