An attorney and part-time judge in northern Indiana is facing disciplinary charges after allegations that she had sexual relations at a state prison with a client.
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed three disciplinary charges against Lisa Traylor-Wolff, a senior judge serving in Pulaski and Fulton counties. Senior judges, such as Traylor-Wolff, work part-time to fill in for trial court judges and also may practice law.
The charges stem from an alleged “physically intimate relationship with a 26-year-old client” who Traylor-Wolff had been appointed to represent, according to a statement issued today by the Indiana Supreme Court.
She declined comment.
The allegation would be a violation of the Code of Conduct that applies to all judges. The commission is the seven-member group that investigates alleged ethical misconduct by judges.
According to the court statement, Traylor-Wolff was representing the defendant on felony charges.
“The defendant was eventually convicted and sentenced to the Department of Correction. Traylor-Wolff continued representing the client on appeal,” the statement says. “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.”
The statement explains the disciplinary charges at this point are only allegations.
“Only the five members of the Supreme Court can determine what, if any, allegations are true,” the statement says.
Traylor-Wolff did not ask to be re-certified as a senior judge in 2013, according to the statement. It says she faces three charges of violating the Code of Judicial Conduct:
Judge Traylor-Wolff violated rules of professional conduct which prohibits a
lawyer from having sexual relations with a client; which prohibit 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; and which requires a judge to promote confidence in the integrity of the judiciary and to avoid impropriety.