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Illinois Supreme Court disbars 10 lawyers, suspends 32

The Illinois Supreme Court disbarred 10 lawyers, suspended 32, censured four and issued reprimands to four others this week in its latest disciplinary filing. Most of the suspensions take effect on Oct. 13. More information on each case is available on the Web site of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

DISBARRED

  • James Joseph Bajgrowicz, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Mr. Bajgrowicz was licensed in Illinois in 1967 and in California in 1971. He was disbarred in California for practicing law while suspended for misconduct. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
  • Ione Young Gray, Los Angeles
Ms. Gray was licensed in Illinois in 1974 and in California in 1977. She was disbarred in California after she sought renewal of her California real estate brokerage license by stating, under penalty of perjury, that she had not been convicted of any federal crimes, when she was convicted of charges of bank fraud and Social Security fraud the previous year. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred her.
  • Robert Stewart Greisman, Chicago
Mr. Greisman, who was licensed in Illinois in 1976, was disbarred on consent. He pled guilty in federal court to participating in the creation and marketing of tax shelters.
  • Mark Joel Helfand, Chicago
Mr. Helfand, who was licensed in 1971, was disbarred on consent. He was convicted of federal bank fraud and was sentenced to five months incarceration and five months home confinement, and he was ordered to pay $21,079 in restitution to a defrauded bank. The conviction was related to his participation in a real property flipping scheme.
  • Bartholomew John Kempff, Lincolnshire
Mr. Kempff, who was licensed in 2000, was disbarred on consent. He was convicted in state court of theft over $100,000. As the corporate attorney for a design firm, he misappropriated funds from the company's trust accounts and an investment fund.
  • Joseph Mathews, Chicago
Mr. Mathews, who was licensed in 2002, was disbarred. He misappropriated $28,000 in client funds, issued checks from his law office operating account when he knew there were insufficient funds in the account to honor those checks, continued to practice law after his name was removed from the Master Roll of Attorneys, failed to cooperate with the ARDC investigation, and failed to appear at the disciplinary hearing.
  • William Francis Prendergast, Chicago
Mr. Prendergast, who was licensed in 1990, was disbarred on consent. He failed to prosecute 24 different patent applications for his clients, then fabricated documents and made false statements to conceal his inaction from those clients, other attorneys, and the federal patent office.
  • John Carl Stambulis, Elmwood Park
Mr. Stambulis, who was licensed in 1961, was disbarred on consent. He pled guilty to federal tax fraud conspiracy and was sentenced to a two-year prison term for his role in creating and marketing illusory trusts.
  • William E. Wells, Marion
Mr. Wells, who was licensed in 1998, was disbarred on consent. He agreed to negotiate debts or file bankruptcy proceedings for 23 different clients who had serious financial problems. Subsequently, he provided little or no services for the clients and did not refund their fees. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Illinois eventually suspended him from practice in that court. In response to the order, Mr. Wells sent letters to his clients telling them that the suspension was merely temporary and that they would have to pay "probably a lot of extra money" if they obtained different counsel.
  • Lorie Keena Westerfield, Chicago
Ms. Westerfield, who was licensed in 1995, was disbarred on consent, retroactive to the date of her interim suspension. She was convicted of federal wire fraud after she participated in a scheme to cause individuals experiencing financial problems to sell their homes as part of a leaseback arrangement. She was sentenced to a five-year term of probation and was ordered to pay restitution of $116,147 to a defrauded bank. She was suspended on an interim basis on Sept. 23, 2008.

SUSPENDED

  • William Kenneth Alderfer, Jr. (4 years, must be reinstated in Missouri), Clayton, Mo.
Mr. Alderfer was licensed in Illinois in 1979 and  in Missouri in 1989. He was suspended in Missouri for four years and until he is reinstated for continuing to practice law after he had been suspended for failing to comply with continuing legal education requirement and for failing to pay certain taxes. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him for four years and until he is reinstated in Missouri.
  • Jonathan Gerald Anderson. (30 days), Schaumburg
Mr. Anderson, who was licensed in 1981, was convicted of assaulting a Cook County Sheriff's Deputy after he was ordered by a judge to leave a courtroom.
  • Louis L. Bertrand. (60 days), LaSalle
Mr. Bertrand, who was licensed in 1984, was suspended for neglecting a client's case, making a misrepresentation to her, and mismanaging the funds she had give him for filing fees.
  • Bruce John Biagini. (90 days), Macomb
Mr. Biagini, who was licensed in 1972, was suspended after he advised clients to enter into a transaction where they would sell their father's home to Mr. Biagini's business partner, who was related to Mr. Biagini's wife. He advised them to then purchase the house from the business partner pursuant to a contract for deed. He failed to disclose the business and family relationship to the clients.
  • Brian Jay Dees. (suspension stayed pending probation), Springfield
Mr. Dees, who was licensed in 1989, was suspended for six months and until further order of the Court, with the suspension stayed in its entirety by a two-year period of probation with conditions. He neglected the appeals of clients in two family law matters where the clients' parental rights had been terminated.
  • James Victor Ebel II. (6 months), Warrenville
Mr. Ebel, who was licensed in 1997, pled guilty to aggravated domestic battery for shaking his newborn son, causing a brain injury.
  • Mary Jo Macalalag Falcon. (3 years), Itasca
Ms. Falcon, who was licensed in 1993, took part in a scheme as a former Director of Personnel and Assistant Commissioner of the City of Chicago Sewer Department and Department of Water Management to rig hiring test scores so that politically connected candidates won city jobs within her department.
  • Jarrett Ward Gable. (suspension stayed pending probation), Chicago
Mr. Gable, licensed in 2000, was suspended for one year and until further order of the Court, with the suspension stayed by a two-year period of probation subject to conditions. As a result of his conduct while attending a music festival in Peoria, he was convicted of two counts of possession of psilocybin, a controlled substance that acts like a hallucinogen, and was sentenced to probation.
  • Ronald Wayne Gilbert. (60 days), Waukegan
Mr. Gilbert, who was licensed in Illinois in 1977, neglected his duties as guardian of a disabled person's estate and advanced personal funds to the estate to cover the resulting expenses.
  • Craig Homer Greenwood. (9 months), Downers Grove
Mr. Greenwood, who was licensed in 1973, mismanaged funds held in an escrow account, neglected client matters and failed to cooperate with the ARDC investigation.
  • Jay Robert Grodner. (1 year), Chicago
Mr. Grodner, who was licensed in 1978, was convicted of criminal damage to property for scraping the paint off of a United States Marine Corp Sergeant's automobile. He also neglected two client matters and failed to return unearned fees in relation to those matters.
  • Jean Maureen Henker. (6 months), Northlake
Ms. Henker, who was licensed in 1984, converted at least $4724.37 that she was supposed to be holding in escrow on behalf of a corporate client, pending the determination of the amount of property taxes owed on real property that is had sold.
  • Tamara Nyphia Honore. (1 year), Chicago Heights
Ms. Honore, who was licensed in 1998, was convicted of disorderly conduct after she made a threatening statement about a circuit court judge outside of the judge's courtroom.
  • Keith Richard Hughes. (3 years, must be reinstated in Wisconsin), Eagle River, Wis.
Mr. Hughes was licensed in Illinois and in Wisconsin in 1989. He was suspended in Wisconsin for three years and until he pays the costs of his disciplinary proceeding after he was convicted in federal court of conspiring to sue $270,000 in proceeds from 28 credit card loans.
  • Kevin Tyronne Kent. (90 days), Homewood
Mr. Kent, who was licensed in 1996, engaged in a conflict of interest in a real estate matter. He also improperly signed a power of attorney as a witness although he never saw the document executed.
  • John Jerry Kosiba. (3 years), Chicago
Mr. Kosiba, who was licensed in 1988, took part in a scheme as a former Commissioner of the City of Chicago Sewer Department to rig hiring test scores so the politically connected candidates won city jobs within his department.
  • Byron Lee Landau. (2 years), Santa Ana, Calif.
Mr. Landau was licensed in Illinois in 1978 and in California in 1995. He was suspended in California for two years, with the suspension stayed after 60 days by three years of probation subject to various conditions. He entered into improper business transactions with a client by taking a series of loans from the client.
  • Brian F. Lansu. (5 months), Naperville
Mr. Lansu, who was licensed in 1999, submitted false expense records to his law firm and received reimbursement for $5,574.99 for travel-related expenses he did not incur.
  • Emmett James Marshall. (90 days with conditions), Chicago
Mr. Marshall, who was licensed in 1985, neglected one client's matter and failed to properly refund an unearned fee to another client. He must successfully complete a law office management course, attend a professionalism seminar and make certain restitution.
  • Mark Robert McGovern. (5 years), Chicago
Mr. McGovern, who was licensed in 2002, was convicted in federal court of assaulting an airline flight attendant and of violating the conditions of his supervised release.
  • David Arnold Milks. (2 years with conditions), Darien
Mr. Milks, who was licensed in 1977, converted client funds by keeping one-third of payments received from his client's own insurer when his contingent fee agreement specifically provided that he would not take attorney's fees from such payments. He also failed to inform a client that he could no longer represent her due to his suspension from the practice of law for unrelated misconduct. He must make restitution to two clients.
  • Patrick Joseph Mitchell. (18 months), Chicago
Mr. Mitchell, who was licensed in 1989, pled guilty to unlawful possession of a controlled substance in Pike County and later pled guilty to violating the terms of his supervision after he submitted to a random urine screen that tested positive for cocaine.
  • Angelo John Nicolosi. (suspension stayed pending probation), Rockford
Mr. Nicolosi, who was licensed in 1979, was suspended for two years and until further order of the Court, with the suspension stayed in its entirety by a two-year period of probation with conditions. Over the course of a 10-year period, he was convicted three different times of driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • Kimberly A. Norton. (90 days), Galesburg
Ms. Norton, who was licensed in 1991, took a sworn statement of her criminal client's co-defendant without the prior notice and consent of the co-defendant's lawyer. She also failed to turn over to her client's new lawyer a transcript of the sworn statement, in which co-defendant exonerated her client from participation in a crime.
  • Steven Peter Panos. (Until reinstated in Connecticut), Danbury, Conn.
Mr. Panos, licensed in Connecticut in 1993 and in Illinois in 1994. Connecticut accepted his resignation from the bar while disciplinary proceedings were pending against him there. He was charged with failing to promptly deliver funds to a client. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him until such time as he is readmitted in Connecticut.
  • Dennis Charles Segovia. (2 years), Lombard
Mr. Segovia, who was licensed in 1990, forged two prescriptions in an attempt to obtain Ritalin. He was disbarred for unrelated misconduct on May 18, 2009.
  • Craig Thomas Simmons. (6 months), Chicago
Mr. Simmons, who was licensed in 1994, neglected a client's breach of contract matter, causing a default judgment to be entered against his client.
  • Craig Joel Simon. (60 days, 1 year probation), Chicago
Mr. Simon, who was licensed in Illinois in 1983 and in Arizona in 1998, was suspended in Arizona for 60 days followed by a 1-year period of conditional probation for engaging in a sexual relationship with a client. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him for 60 days followed by a 1-year period of probation with the same conditions imposed in Arizona.
  • Daniel Slijepcevich. (1 year), San Rafael, Calif.
Mr. Slijepcevich was licensed in Illinois in 1985 and in California in 1991. He was suspended in California for one year, with the suspension stayed after 30 days by a 2-year period of probation subject to conditions. He settled a client's personal injury claim without notifying the medical provider that had filed a lien for treatment provided to his client. He signed the settlement check in the name of the medical provider and distributed all of the funds to his client and to himself.
  • Burton Douglas Stephens, Jr. (60 days), Rock Island
Mr. Stephens, who was licensed in 1975, engaged in the unauthorized practices of law after he was removed from teh Master Roll of Attorneys for failing to register. He also failed to cooperate with an ARDC investigation.
  • Norman Eugene Underwood, Jr. (90 days), Pleasant Prairie, Wis.
Mr. Underwood, who was licensed in 1994, engaged in check kiting in order to pay personal and business expenses.
  • Ray Lafayette Waters. (6 months), Baton Rouge, La.
Mr. Water, who was licensed in 1994, was suspended for six months, with the suspension stayed after 30 days by a 1-year period of probation with conditions. He engaged in the unauthorized practice of law after he was removed from the Master Roll of Attorneys for failing to register. He also engaged in a conflict of interest in a real estate matter, neglected a personal injury claim, and mismanaged his client fund account.

PREVIOUSLY SUSPENDED

  • Aimee Elizabeth Forsberg. (2 years), Barrington

CENSURED

  • Daniel Michalczyk Starr
  • Jeffrey Curtis Weishaupt
  • Lawrence G. Zdarsk
  • Peter J. Woods

REPRIMANDED

  • Anna Marie Wolf
  • Michael R. Swafford
  • Scott A. Lathrop
  • Martin Orval Kirk
Posted on Sep 24, 2009 by Chris Bonjean | Comments (0)
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