Illinois Supreme Court disbars 4, suspends 8 in latest disciplinary filing
The Supreme Court of Illinois announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on January 13, 2017, during the January Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.
- Sean Patrick Fleming, Barrington
Mr. Fleming, who was licensed in 2007, was disbarred. He neglected ten different bankruptcy matters, misappropriated over $3,000 in filing fees, made misrepresentations to his clients about the status of their legal matters, and failed to return unearned fees.
- R. Marc Hamid, Lincolnwood
Mr. Hamid, who was licensed in 1996, was disbarred on consent. Following a nine-day trial, a federal jury found him guilty of mail fraud and currency structuring. He owned and controlled Right Field Rooftops, a business which sold tickets to watch Chicago Cubs games from a rooftop outside of Wrigley Field. Right Field Rooftops was party to a contract with the Cubs that required it to annually report its attendance and gross revenues to the team and to pay it 17% of its gross revenues. From 2008 through 2011, Mr. Hamid intentionally caused Right Field Rooftops to underreport revenue and attendance and, as a result, Right Field Rooftops underpaid the team amounts due under the royalty agreement.
- Natalie Mandelbroyt, Chicago
Ms. Mandelbroydt, who was licensed in 1998, was disbarred on consent. She pled guilty in federal court in Missouri to a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud. She knowingly and willfully executed a scheme to defraud Medicare in connection with the delivery and payment of health care benefits, items, and services relating to her husband’s podiatric medicine practice. Although the loss attributable to her participation in the conspiracy is difficult to determine, she agreed with federal officials to make 990,061 in restitution.
- Michael J. O'Malley, Schaumburg
Mr. O’Malley, who was licensed in 1983, was disbarred on consent. He misappropriated $593,000 from six separate clients and attempted to mislead one of those clients by sending them a copy of an order that had not been entered by the court.
- Brian Jay Dees, Springfield
Mr. Dees, who was licensed in 1989, was suspended for six months and until further order of the Court. He failed to act with diligence and promptness in his representation of two different bankruptcy clients. Mr. Dees was disciplined previously for similar misconduct.
- James R. Hanlin, St. Louis,
Mr. Hanlin, who was licensed to practice law in Missouri in 1963 but was never licensed in Illinois, was suspended for one year. Between 2007 and 2014, he engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in Illinois by representing sixteen different clients in traffic and misdemeanor cases filed in Madison and St. Clair Counties. He also used the name and registration number of an Illinois attorney on pleadings he filed in Illinois without that attorney’s knowledge or consent. The suspension is effective on February 3, 2017.
- Laurence Kallen, Oak Park
Mr. Kallen, who was licensed in 1970, was suspended on an interim basis and until further order of the Court. A four-count complaint is pending before the ARDC Hearing Board alleging that he failed to disburse over $1,500,000 in foreclosure sale proceeds arising from four different property transactions.
- John Patrick Messina, Oak Park
Mr. Messina, who was licensed in 1976, was suspended for six months. He filed a frivolous appeal challenging the validity of a federal court order that held him in contempt of court, after he had already unsuccessfully appealed and challenged the validity of that court order. The suspension is effective on February 3, 2017.
- David M. Schrauth, Winnetka
Mr. Schrauth, who was licensed in 1991, was suspended for three years and until further order of the Court. He neglected a client’s foreclosure matter, dishonestly used his client’s retainer payment for his own purposes without authority, failed to return unearned fees to his client, and engaged in a pattern of misrepresenting the status of the mortgage foreclosure matter to his client.
- Harry A. Schroeder, Chicago Heights
Mr. Schroeder, who was licensed in 1980, was suspended for one year and until further order of the Court. He neglected seven client matters, failed to communicate with those clients, and did not refund approximately $8,800 in unearned fees. He also failed to cooperate with the ARDC investigation and continued to practice law after being removed from the Master Roll of Attorneys for non-registration and failure to comply with the Supreme Court’s minimum continuing legal education requirements.
- Matthew Robert Wildermuth, Woodridge
Mr. Wildermuth, who was licensed in 1989, was suspended for ninety days. Between 2009 and 2011, while handling loan modification and foreclosure defense cases, he did not personally explain to certain clients their chances for success or consult with them to ensure that they understood their legal options. The suspension is effective on February 3, 2017.
- Courtney Olivia Wylie, Chicago
Ms. Wylie, who was licensed in 2010, was suspended for six months. After she missed a telephone status conference in a federal court case, she provided false information to the court regarding her absence, claiming that she had been delayed in another hearing. She then fabricated documents about that nonexistent hearing and showed the documents to her law firm supervisor who sought information about the missed conference call. In addition, she submitted false information about her fabrication of those documents to the ARDC during the course of an investigation into her conduct. The suspension is effective on February 3, 2017.