Friday, August 22, 2008
A lawyer prepared a durable power of attorney for a friend's mother at no charge and thereafter notarized the mother's mark on the document even though he had never her and had not witnessed the signature. The friend, as one might expect, improperly used the power of attorney to take $40,000 for purposes unrelated to the care of the mother, who was hospitalized at the time. On release, she discovered the son's actions and had to retain the assistance of counsel to get her funds back.
After charges were filed by the Illinois ARDC, the lawyer agreed to a reprimand with the following language at the conclusion:
You are further advised that while this reprimand is not formally presented to the Illinois Supreme Court it is not to be taken lightly. This reprimand is a matter of public record and is on file with the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and may be admitted into evidence in subsequent disciplinary proceedings against you.