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Illinois Supreme Court disbars 12, suspends 26

The Illinois Supreme Court disbarred 12 lawyers, suspended 26, censured 4 and reprimanded 2 in its latest disciplinary filing. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

DISBARRED

  • Michael Robert Allen, St. Louis

Mr. Allen was licensed in Missouri in 1985 and in Illinois in 1987. He was disbarred in Missouri for failing to prepare an order as directed by a court in a family law case and for not participating in the Missouri disciplinary process. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.

  • Norvel E. Brown, Jr., Kirkwood, Mo.

Mr. Brown was licensed in Missouri in 1977 and in Illinois in 1989. He was disbarred in Missouri after he was convicted in federal court of wire fraud and theft.  He defrauded the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and commercial banks of approximately $3,000,000 through his ownership and operation of Mississippi Valley Title, Inc., a Missouri corporation.  The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.

  • Karl W. Dickhaus, St. Louis

Mr. Dickhaus was licensed in Missouri in 1996 and in Illinois in 1999. He was disbarred in Missouri for neglecting four client matters and for failing to participate in the Missouri disciplinary process.  The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.

  • Martin Edward Doyle, Hanover, N.H.

Mr. Doyle was licensed in Illinois in 1979 and in Florida in 1984. He was permanently disbarred in Florida for fraud, misusing monies entrusted to his law firm trust account, and soliciting individuals to invest in non-existent investments. He was charged with misappropriating approximately $1.5 million from several victims whom he lured into making investments. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.

  • Deron Baker Elliott, Morristown, N.J.

Mr. Elliott was licensed in Illinois in 1996. He was disbarred on consent after he was convicted of assaulting a police officer in Morris County, New Jersey. He also made profane and derogatory statements to ARDC and Illinois bar admission personnel.

  • Steven David Gustafson, Naperville

Mr. Gustafson, who was licensed in 1991, was disbarred. While a member of a Naperville law firm, he misappropriated more than $675,000 in client funds and created false financial records in order to hide his use of a client account to pay his personal expenses. He did not appear for his disciplinary hearing. He was suspended on an interim basis on September 1, 2009.

  • James E. Hinterlong, Grand Ridge

Mr. Hinterlong, who was licensed in 1972, was disbarred. He neglected a client’s civil case, resulting in a $582,000 default judgment being entered against the client’s business. He also made misrepresentations to the client about the status of the case and did not tell the client about court-ordered monetary sanctions and other orders. He failed to appear at his own disciplinary proceeding.

  • Stephen George Kaludis, St. Louis

Mr. Kaludis was licensed in Missouri in 1988 and in Illinois in 1994. He was disbarred in Missouri after he pled guilty to stealing over $25,000 from clients after forging the clients’ signatures on a settlement check. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.

  • Donald P. Lasica, Berwyn

Mr. Lasica, who was licensed in 1975, was disbarred. He misappropriated approximately $78,000 from a decedent’s estate.

  • Robert Sheldon Monitz, Wilmette

Mr. Monitz, who was licensed in 1981, was disbarred. He neglected a decedent’s estate, misappropriated over $100,000 in estate and trust funds, collected an unreasonable fee, made misrepresentations to a court and failed to cooperate in the disciplinary matter

  • Michael Paul Reynolds, Chicago

Mr. Reynolds was admitted in Illinois in 1987 and in South Dakota in 1994. He was disbarred in South Dakota after he failed to disclose a prior suspension from the practice of law in South Dakota to a Chicago law firm in connection with an application for employment. He also falsely represented that he had never been suspended from practice in an application for professional liability insurance, and declared under penalty of perjury that he had never been suspended in any state in an application for pro hac vice admission in the Superior Court of California. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.

  • Laura Ann Sipes, St. Charles, Mo.

Ms. Sipes was licensed in Missouri in 1993 and in Illinois the following year. She was disbarred in Missouri for neglecting adoption matters and for filing a false affidavit in an adoption proceeding. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred her.

SUSPENDED

  • David Everette Bowden, Chicago

Mr. Bowden, who was licensed in 1998, was suspended for one year and until further order of the Court. He possessed illegal drugs on three separate occasions and provided insufficient evidence to suggest that he was receiving appropriate treatment for his substance abuse.

  • Nick F. Burgrabe, Lincoln

Mr. Burgrabe, who was licensed in 1981, was suspended for two years and until further order of the Court. He videotaped sexual encounters that he had with five different women without their knowledge or consent. In addition, he was twice convicted for driving while under the influence of alcohol.

  • Robert Edward Burrows, Chicago

Mr. Burrows, who was licensed in 1991, was suspended for ninety days. He mishandled $2,069.96 in funds that was due to another law firm from a mutual client’s settlement proceeds. He also made an unauthorized endorsement on a check. The suspension is effective on June 8, 2010.

  • Michael Peter Butler, Chicago

Mr. Butler, who was licensed in 1994, was suspended for two years. While he was a partner in the Chicago office of a New York-based law firm, he billed his firm’s corporate client approximately $100,000 for work he falsely claimed to have done defending a federal employment discrimination claim. He had repaid the firm and was no longer practicing law at the time of his disciplinary hearing. The suspension is effective on June 8, 2010.

  • Derrick Daniel, Chicago

Mr. Daniel, who was licensed in 2000, was suspended for six months and until further order of the Court. He neglected two client matters and misrepresented the status of a case to one of the clients. He failed to participate in the disciplinary process.

  • Dennis Dowe Fisher, Fargo, N.D.

Mr. Fisher was licensed in Illinois in 1978 and in North Dakota in 1984. He was suspended in North Dakota for two years after he was convicted of two instances of theft. He shoplifted knives. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him for two years. The suspension is effective on June 7, 2010.

  • Jess Evan Forrest, Park Ridge

Mr. Forrest, who was licensed in 1964, was suspended for one year, with the suspension stayed after two months by a one-year period of probation with conditions. Through bad bookkeeping practices, he failed to preserve the identity of $7,500 that he had been holding in escrow for six years in connection with a real estate transaction. The suspension is effective on June 8, 2010.

  • Loren Elliotte Friedman, Urbana

Mr. Friedman, who was licensed in Illinois in 2006, was suspended for three years and until further order of the Court. He made a material misrepresentation on his application for admission to the Illinois bar by failing to disclose that he submitted altered law school transcripts to prospective law firm employers. His actual grades would not have qualified him to earn a job interview with those employers.

  • Scott E. Hansen, Appleton, Wis.

Mr. Hansen was licensed in Wisconsin in 1983 and in Illinois the following year. He was suspended in Wisconsin for nine months and until he makes certain restitution for neglecting four separate criminal matters, making false statements to a court and to a client, failing to refund unearned fees, improperly depositing an advance fee into his business account, and not cooperating with the Wisconsin disciplinary authority. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him for nine months and until he is reinstated in Wisconsin. The suspension is effective on June 7, 2010.

  • James H. Himmel, Palos Heights

Mr. Himmel, who was licensed in 1975, was suspended for thirty days. He agreed to represent a client in a claim against the builder of the client’s home and then failed to file a complaint against the builder. Further, he made misrepresentations to the client regarding the status of the matter. The suspension is effective on June 8, 2010.

  • Kevin Carroll Kakac, Mt. Vernon

Mr. Kakac, who was licensed in 1992, was suspended for thirty days. While serving as a state prosecutor, he failed to disclose exculpatory information to a defendant during the course of a criminal proceeding. The suspension is effective on June 8, 2010.

  • Don Paul Koeneman, Jr., Chester

Mr. Koeneman, who was licensed in 1982, was suspended for two years and until further order of the Court, with the suspension stayed after sixty days by a three-year period of probation with conditions. He pled guilty to two counts of disorderly conduct. The suspension is effective on June 8, 2010.

  • John Robert Klytta and Anthony Michael Klytta, Chicago

Anthony Michael Klytta and John Robert Klytta, who are brothers, were licensed in 1989. They were both suspended for one year, with the suspension stayed after ninety days by probation for two years, subject to conditions. They mismanaged over $10,000 entrusted to them for clients or third parties because they failed to balance their client trust account or timely review their bank statements. The suspensions are effective on June 8, 2010.

  • James Edward Musial, Wheaton

Mr. Musial, who was licensed in 1982, was suspended for one year and until further order of the Court, with the suspension stayed after ninety days by a two-year period of probation subject to conditions. He drove a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol on two occasions and also neglected four client matters. The suspension is effective on June 8, 2010.

  • Jaipal Singh Patheja, Valparaiso

Mr. Patheja was licensed in Illinois in 1994 and in Indiana in 1997. He was suspended in Indiana for at least six months after he pled guilty to fleeing law enforcement and driving while intoxicated in a manner that endangers a person. Subsequently, he was twice convicted of public intoxication. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him for six months and until he is reinstated in Indiana. The suspension is effective on June 7, 2010.

  • Kristine Ann Peshek, Beloit, Wis.

Ms. Peshek, who was licensed in 1989, was suspended for sixty days. While serving as an Assistant Public Defender, she revealed protected client information in an internet blog. Further, she failed to disclose to a tribunal that one of her clients had made false statements about the client’s drug usage during the course of a guilty plea. The suspension is effective on June 8, 2010.

  • David Andrew Pollock, St. Charles

Mr. Pollock, who was licensed in 1978, was suspended for sixty days. He violated an order of protection that his ex-wife had obtained against him. In addition, he used his ex-wife’s personal identity information for the purpose of obtaining a loan via the internet by applying for a cash advance in the amount of $750. Those funds were deposited in his ex-wife’s bank account, causing her to be liable for repayment of the loan with interest. The suspension is effective on June 8, 2010.

  • David Jack Rosenfeld, Chicago

Mr. Rosenfeld, who was licensed in 1990, was suspended for sixty days. While awaiting the Court’s approval of a petition for discipline on consent against him in a prior disciplinary matter, he neglected a personal injury claim by failing to appear for several court hearings, causing the case to be dismissed for want of prosecution. The suspension is effective on June 8, 2010.

  • Andrew Joseph Rukavina, Mundelein

Mr. Rukavina, who was licensed in 1983, was suspended for five months and ordered to attend the Illinois Institute of Professional Responsibility. He failed to disclose his financial interests in a title insurance and in a survey company to his residential real estate clients. In addition, he employed deceptive advertising practices to procure clients. The suspension is effective on June 7, 2010.

  • Kelly A. Saindon, Chicago

Ms. Saindon, who was licensed in 1998, was suspended for thirty days. Over a three year period, she neglected two civil cases and made false statements to her employer and a court regarding actions that she claimed to have taken on the matters. In one of the cases, she billed a client for work where there was no verifiable evidence that the work had been performed. The suspension is effective on June 7, 2010.

  • Gary Eugene Stark, Anna

Mr. Stark, who was licensed in 1994, was suspended for one-hundred twenty days and until he makes certain restitution. He failed to file a lawsuit on behalf of clients and then made false representations to the clients regarding the status of the matter. The suspension is effective on June 8, 2010.

  • Robert A. Suding Jr., Trafalgar, Ind.

Mr. Suding, who was licensed in 1999, was suspended for one year and until further order of the Court. In order to gain a financial advantage in his own divorce proceeding, he withheld from his wife the fact that he had assigned to his cousin the right to collect on a pre-marital debt owed to him by his wife.

  • Laura Larsen Sullivan, Michigan City, Ind.

Ms. Sullivan was licensed in Indiana in 1984 and in Illinois in 1987. She was suspended in Indiana for ninety days without automatic reinstatement after she neglected several bankruptcy cases and failed to communicate with clients. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended her for ninety days and until she is reinstated in Indiana. The suspension is effective on June 7, 2010.

The following orders were entered by The Court in disciplinary cases before the May 2010 term but were not included in any previous information release:

  • Susan Grace Castagnoli, Naperville

Order entered on April 27, 2010. Ms. Castagnoli, who was licensed in 1979, was suspended on an interim basis and until further order of the Court. The Hearing Board earlier found that she overreached an attorney-client relationship, exerted undue influence on clients, charged in excessive fees without authorization from the bankruptcy court and, in some cases, without her clients’ knowledge or consent, and engaged in dishonest conduct.

  • John Frank Harris, Chicago

Order entered on April 6, 2010. Mr. Harris, who was licensed in 1987, was suspended on an interim basis and until further order of the Court. He is the subject of a pending federal indictment alleging that he knowingly and intentionally participated in a scheme to commit wire fraud while employed by the State of Illinois as the Chief of Staff to then Governor Rod R. Blagojevich.

CENSURED

  • Donald Ray Brewer, Crystal Lake

Mr. Brewer, who was licensed in 1974, was censured and ordered to complete a program offered by the Illinois Institute of Professional Responsibility. He engaged in a conflict of interest when he represented a charitable foundation on a pro bono basis in a transaction in which the foundation loaned money to another of his clients.

  • Robert Vincent Gildo, Harbert, Mich.

Mr. Gildo, who was licensed in 1969, was censured and ordered to complete a program offered by the Illinois Institute of Professional Responsibility. He engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by handling at least five civil litigation matters and one criminal case while his name was removed from the Master Roll of Attorneys for not complying with Minimum Continuing Legal Education requirements.

  • Steven Bruce Nagler, Northbrook

Mr. Nagler, who was licensed in 1969, was censured. Between 2000 and 2002, he failed to timely file estate tax returns and pay taxes due on his late father’s estate. Further, he failed to properly account to a trust beneficiary about his activities as trustee of his father’s testamentary trust.

  • Scott David Spooner, Springfield

Mr. Spooner, who was licensed in 1981, was censured. He made misrepresentations to an employer relating to an expense he incurred in relation to a client matter. He later attempted to charge his client’s insurance carrier for both his time and the expense in question. In addition, he pled guilty to a DUI charge.

REPRIMANDED

  • Swaray Edward Conteh, Indianapolis

Mr. Conteh was licensed in Indiana in 1995 and in Illinois the following year. He was publicly reprimanded in Indiana for failing to promptly notify a third party of his receipt of funds awarded to a client. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and reprimanded him.

  • James Christopher Toth, Almont, Mich.

Mr. Toth was licensed in Michigan in 1994 and in Illinois the following year. He was reprimanded in Michigan for not listing a potential legal malpractice claim against another attorney in a client’s bankruptcy filing. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and reprimanded him.

Posted on May 18, 2010 by Chris Bonjean | Comments (0)
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