Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The Illinois ARDC recently filed ethics charges that, if proven, tell a sad tale of the disintegration of the life of a lawyer admitted in 1998. Count One deals with a court-ordered eviction of the lawyer from his home. He attempted to flee and resisted arrest. A search revealed a bag of cannabis. He later failed to appear in court and an arrest warrant was issued. After he pled guilty to misdemeanor drug possession, he failed to notify the bar as required. Count Two involved police responded to a call of shots being fired and drugs sold in the lawyer's apartment. Police recovered cannibis, cocaine and cash. Count Three alleges that the attorney was observed and stopped in a stolen car, did not have a valid driver's license and possessed cannabis. Count Four resulted from police observing the attorney smoking "a hand-rolled cigarette containing cannabis" in a car. He could not account for $1,354 in his possession. The "cash contained trace amounts of narcotics." The alleged misconduct took place over a period of approximately two years.
As noted, these are charges that have not been proven. One can only hope that this lawyer can turn his life around. Illinois is a jurisdiction that considers accords substantial weight to addiction recovery in determining appropriate discipline where the addiction caused the misconduct. (Mike Frisch)