Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Illinois Supreme Court announces list of disciplined attorneys; here's what they did to deserve it

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the most recent list of disciplined lawyers in the state. Seven were disbarred, nine were suspended, one was reprimanded and three were censured. For the full list of names and the location of their practice go here.

Here is a quick list of the types of conduct that resulted in the different sanctions:

Lawyers were disbarred for the following:

-criminal conviction for bringing contraband into a penal institution, possessing a controlled substance with intent to deliver, and possessing cannabis with intent to deliver.

-reciprocal discipline after disbarment in California for repeatedly filing frivolous lawsuits, pleadings and appeals.

-misappropriation of client funds, failing to diligently represent a client, making false statements to clients, and misrepresentations to the ARDC.

-reciprocal discipline after disbarment in Michigan for settling a personal injury matter without his client’s knowledge or consent.

-converting all of a client's trust assets, $30,656.73, for lawyer's own purposes.

-reciprocal discipline after disbarment in Michigan for neglecting a client’s immigration case, refusing to refund unearned fees, and failing to be candid with the disciplinary authority.

-lawyer entered a guilty plea to a charge of willfully assisting a client in filing a fraudulent United States income tax return that understated the client’s income by $478,098.

The lawyers who were suspended engaged in the following misconduct:

-neglecting a client’s immigration case, making misrepresentations to the client about the status of the matter and failing to appear and participate in the disciplinary proceedings.

-failing to communicate with two clients about their breach of contract claims and failing to cooperate with, or participate in, the disciplinary investigation.

-neglecting two different client matters, misrepresenting the status of one of those matters to his client, failing to carry out his duties in two cases where he had been appointed to serve as a guardian ad litem, and failing to cooperate with the ARDC.

-driving under the influence of alcohol (two convictions) (two different lawyers, same facts)

-convicted in state court on five misdemeanor counts of theft of client retainer monies.

-reciprocal discipline after suspension in Tennessee for conviction in federal court to conspiracy to defraud mortgage loan companies and financial institutions

-engaging in conduct involving battery when he made unsolicited and improper sexual advances toward both a female client and the wife of a second client; also breaching a fiduciary duty to both women clients and to a third client to whom he also made an unsolicited sexual advance over the telephone.

-mishandling settlement funds during a dispute with his former law firm partners over money that was due to each partner after the firm’s dissolution.

The lawyers that were censured engaged in the following misconduct:

-failing to promptly refund the unearned portion of fee advances he had received from several clients who had discharged him.

-preparing a will on behalf of a client giving himself and his wife a substantial gift.

-neglecting discovery obligations in a client’s dissolution of marriage proceeding, resulting in the imposition of monetary sanctions against the client, and he failing to inform the client of the entry of the sanctions.

The lawyer who was reprimanded had been informally admonished in Idaho for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law while she was a legal intern employed at a public defender’s office. At the time of the misconduct, she had not yet taken the Idaho bar examination. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and reprimanded her.

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