Thursday, April 17, 2008

No Misconduct Found

An Illinois hearing board has recommended dismissal of disciplinary charges against an attorney admitted to practice in 2000. The attorney had assisted in the preparation of grant applications that did not accurately reflect case statistics; she had been hired by a family friend and was not provided training or guidance in the grant process. While she did know that the case statistics had been inflated, she promptly reported the situation to the ARDC. The hearing board concludes:

"We find that the Administrator failed to offer evidence proving that Respondent intended to engage in dishonest conduct. Without any evidence of dishonest intent, we view any misrepresentation as simply an exercise in poor judgment and, at most, a technical violation of the rule. (citation omitted). The circumstances of this case indicate that Respondent derived no personal gain from her actions; no clients benefited nor were any clients harmed by Respondent’s actions. We find Respondent’s testimony to be credible and irrefutable. Respondent stated that she was inexperienced, had no resources to consult for assistance and she was under the impression that the information was immaterial to the grant application process. Once Respondent realized the importance of the client data sheets, she took every action to rectify the potential inaccurate information. We find that Respondent’s subsequent actions to be appropriate in attempting to rectify the situation. The Administrator stated that Respondent should have resigned immediately. We question the Administrator’s claim. How fast should an attorney react? In this case, Respondent reported herself within eleven days and resigned from her position in nineteen days. In this case, we find this length of time appropriate. Further, we find that Respondent’s conduct does not defeat the administration of justice or bring the legal profession into disrepute." (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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