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Illinois Supreme Court disbars 5, suspends 13 in latest disciplinary filing

The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on March 22, 2016, during the March Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

DISBARRED

  • Tanya Yvette Brockington, Homewood

Ms. Brockington was licensed in Illinois in 2009 and in Georgia in 2010. She was disbarred in Georgia for neglecting three immigration matters, failing to return unearned fees, and failing to cooperate with the Georgia disciplinary authority. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred her.

  • Christian Chenoweth, Chicago

Mr. Chenoweth, who was licensed in 2002, was disbarred on consent. He obtained $1,550,000 in connection with representing two clients and misappropriated at least $10,000 of those funds.  In addition, he pled guilty to a felony charge of retail theft.

  • Raymond L. Huff, Peoria

Mr. Huff, who was licensed in 1973, was disbarred on consent. He practiced law in 2015 during a period when he was suspended for having engaged in professional misconduct. In addition, he failed to comply with Illinois Supreme Court rules after the earlier suspension was imposed against him.  

  • Larry Jay Meyer, Chicago

Mr. Meyer, who was licensed in 1978, was disbarred on consent. He misappropriated more than $150,000 in client funds, provided incorrect information to clients about the funds that he received on their behalf, and borrowed $10,000 from a client without making the required conflict of interest disclosures.

  • Emmanuel Ezenwa Okere, Chicago

Mr. Okere, who was licensed in 2007, was disbarred. He induced an elderly client to pay him more than $20,000 in a fraudulent investment scheme, obtained a prohibited personal loan from that same client, failed to be diligent in four different client matters, charged excessive fees, did not refund an unearned fee, and failed to cooperate with the ARDC. He did not appear at his own disciplinary hearing.

SUSPENDED

  • Bryan Robert Bagdady, Lisle

Mr. Bagdady, who was licensed in 1983, was suspended for one year. He engaged in a business transaction with his client, having the client invest her money in two different ventures in which he had an ownership interest. He failed to adequately explain to the client that their respective interests were not aligned and that she should consult with an independent attorney regarding the transaction. The client lost her investment. The suspension is effective on April 12, 2016.

  • Anne Marie Beckert, Chicago

Ms. Beckert, who was licensed in 1986, was suspended for six months and until further order of the Court, with the suspension stayed after ninety days by a one-year period of conditional probation. She failed to refund costs to one client, did not act diligently and keep another client reasonably informed in a matter, failed to comply with reasonable requests for information from a third client, and failed to keep a fourth client reasonably informed about the status of that client’s matter. In addition, she initially failed to cooperate with the ARDC. The suspension is effective on April 12, 2016.

  • Steven Wayne Berg, Springfield

Mr. Berg, who was licensed in 1978, was suspended for six months and ordered to pay certain restitution. After he represented two different clients in workers compensation cases, and he received fees for that work from the settlements of the cases, he obtained unearned fees by wrongfully demanding portions of the clients’ pension benefits as additional compensation. He also neglected two clients’ personal injury matters, resulting in the claims becoming time-barred, and he misled one of the clients about the status of her case.  The suspension is effective on April 12, 2016.

  • Cassidy Ann David, Chicago

Ms. David, who was licensed in 2006, was suspended for six months. While representing a client in a real estate transaction, she created a backdated letter purporting to show that she had timely mailed a document to the county recorder. Thereafter, she falsely stated to her employer and to the ARDC that the fabricated cover letter was genuine. The suspension is effective on April 12, 2016.

  • David J. Fitzpatrick, Des Plaines

Mr. Fitzpatrick, who was licensed in 1983, was suspended for one year and until he makes certain restitution. He did not promptly pay approximately $30,000 he withheld from client settlements to pay either those clients or their lien holders, and later converted those funds to his own use. The suspension is effective on April 12, 2016.

  • James Paul Greene, Chicago

Mr. Greene, who was licensed in 1995, was suspended for 90 days and until he makes certain restitution. He borrowed $10,000 from one of his clients without making required conflict of interest disclosures and delayed in repaying the money. He also failed to be diligent in drafting documents for that client and another client and he delayed in returning unearned fees he received from those clients. The suspension is effective on April 12, 2016.

 

  • James Alan Hajek, St. Louis, Mo.

Mr. Hajek was licensed in Missouri in 2000 and in Illinois in 2001. He was indefinitely suspended in Missouri, with the suspension fully stayed by a one-year period of conditional probation. He commingled his own personal funds with client monies being held in his client trust account and he paid his personal expenses from that account. He also failed to maintain complete client trust account records and did not initially cooperate with Missouri disciplinary authorities. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him for six months and until further order of the Court, with the suspension fully stayed by a one-year period of probation, retroactive to October 28, 2014, subject to the conditions of probation imposed by in Missouri and until his Missouri probation is successfully completed.

 

  • James Larry Karraker, Anna

Mr. Karraker, who was licensed in 1973, was suspended for 90 days and until he makes certain restitution. He failed to act diligently when representing a client in a criminal habeas corpus case, did not return an unearned fee to that client, and made a misrepresentation to the client concerning the status of the client’s case. The suspension is effective on April 12, 2016.

  • Kenneth A. Leeds, St. Louis

Mr. Leeds was licensed in both Illinois and in Missouri in 1980. He was indefinitely suspended in Missouri, with the suspension fully stayed by a two-year period of conditional probation. He improperly advanced $6,000 to clients, commingled and converted more than $18,000 of client funds, and failed to maintain complete client trust account records. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him for one year and until further order of the Court, with the suspension fully stayed by a two-year period of probation, retroactive to September 30, 2014, and subject to the conditions of probation imposed in Missouri and until his Missouri probation is successfully completed.

  • Edmund Benedict Moran, Jr., Chicago

Mr. Moran, who was licensed in 1973, was suspended for two years and until he satisfies the judgment entered against him in a legal action related to his handling of a family trust. He dishonestly appropriated more than $360,000 from that trust and knowingly provided false information to the ARDC during an investigation of his conduct in a separate matter. The suspension is effective on April 12, 2016.

  • Kathleen Ann O'Dekirk, Chicago

Ms. O’Dekirk, who was licensed in 1981, was suspended for one year. She converted over $18,000 in escrow funds being held in connection with three separate real estate transactions. The suspension is effective on April 12, 2016.

  • David Jay Peilet, Chicago

Mr. Peilet, who was licensed in 1988, was suspended for 90 days, with the suspension stayed in its entirety by a one-year period of probation subject to conditions. He neglected a client’s criminal appeal and then did not initially cooperate with the ARDC.

  • John William Pleta, Mokena

Mr. Pleta, who was licensed in 1987, was suspended on an interim basis and until further order of the Court. He has been charged in a disciplinary complaint with misappropriating more than $1.2 million in funds belonging to a probate estate.

REPRIMANDED

  • Ronald James Kurpiers II, Tampa, Fla.

Mr. Kurpiers was licensed in Illinois in 1987 and in Florida in 2002. He was publicly reprimanded in Florida for failing to abide by that state’s trust account rules and for reimbursing himself for costs relating to the representation of a decedent’s estate in an amount that was more than he and the estate’s personal representative had agreed that he would receive. In addition, he signed a general release as a witness, and caused the signature of a personal representative in the estate to be affixed to the same document, and then had both signatures notarized, knowing that neither he nor the notary had been present when the personal representative signed the document. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and reprimanded him.

CENSURED

  • Daniel Gregory Koryn, Los Angeles

Mr. Koryn was licensed in California in 1987 and in Illinois in 1990. He was the subject of an order of public reproval in California, with a two-year term of conditional probation. He drove a motor vehicle while having a measurable blood alcohol of .08 percent or more, a misdemeanor. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline by censuring him and placing him on two-years of conditional probation retroactive to October 16, 2014, subject to the conditions imposed in California and until he successfully completes the conditions imposed upon him in California.

 

 

 

Posted on Mar 22, 2016 by Chris Bonjean | Comments (0)
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