January 11, 2008
Court TV Not CLE
An Illinois Hearing Board has recommended that an attorney disbarred in 1988 as a result of a mail fraud conviction be reinstated to practice. He had served a term of imprisonment and been charged with domestic battery in 1997. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct ("although he believed he was innocent of any charges, he did not feel he could prevail with a female prosecutor and a female judge"). He owes restitution and had set up an account in an amount that had been proposed by an earlier board report ("if the proper recipients can not [sic] be ascertained, he will be happy to donate the money to any organization designated by the panel").
As to present learning in the law, the board states:
"The Administrator expressed some dissatisfaction with Petitioner’s attempts to stay abreast of legal developments, specifically targeting his statement that he watches court TV. While we give no credit to that activity as an educational tool, Petitioner’s statement should not detract from his more substantive accomplishments, that is, his attendance at six day-long continuing legal education classes, his completion of the ARDC class in professional responsibility, and his daily review of a legal newspaper. We believe he has shown a commitment to keeping up-to-date with respect to legal developments, and note that his effort is equivalent to that of other attorneys who have been reinstated." (Mike Frisch)
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