August 14, 2008
Intemperate Remarks Charges Filed
The Illinois ARDC has filed charges alleging misconduct in a custody battle, and an administrative proceeding. The mother in the custody case had won custody and thereafter remarried. The father retained the accused attorney to initiate proceedings based on the allegations of improper conduct by the new husband to his now 14 year old daughter. When a hearing was rescheduled, the attorney did not appear but was contacted and put on the speaker phone. The following is alleged:
The Court then conducted a hearing in chambers, with Schaps [the client] present in person and Respondent appearing by speakerphone.
During the hearing on February 8, 2008, Respondent stated to Judge Murphy "You are a narcissistic, maniacal, mental case. You should not be on the bench. I am not appearing before you."
Judge Murphy then stated he was probably going to transfer the case to LaSalle County, but that he wished the attorneys to appear before him regarding the affidavit described in Paragraph 15, above.
Respondent then stated again, in a louder voice, "You are narcissistic, maniacal, mental case and should not be on the bench."
When Judge Murphy continued to explain his ruling, Respondent stated "I refuse to appear in your courtroom. This case is pending in LaSalle County. You have no jurisdiction." Respondent then hung up the phone.
Stronger words to follow as this missive was mailed to the judge:
If that is correct, and no Motions are pending in Cook County, it is extremely difficult to comprehend any justification or motivation whatsoever for requiring the appearance of counsel other than the interjection of your personal vendetta in an attempt to rationalize your own mistake in summarily placing a 14 year old child with a drug and alcohol addict.
As an officer of the court, I must bluntly state that you appear to have serious mental issues involving extreme narcissism and illusions of grandiosity which effectively interferes with your ability to act as a Judge. I am certain that this is the opinion of many other lawyers who are acquainted with you. I am aware of your tendency toward self-promotion and your blatant insinuation that you somehow have a superior ability to ascertain peremptorily and without the presentation of appropriate evidence the best interest of children. Do you in any manner accept the reality of the jeopardy in which you placed this child? Is it possible that you could apologize to my client, who has had custody of this child since birth and suffered weeks of sleepless nights wondering whether her child would return safely from her substance addicted and irresponsible former husband? Are you capable of self-examination, or do you simply react negatively and defensively to any suggestion that you are incapable of error? "
A hearing in a different matter before an administrative law judge culminated with this remark:
This is a joke. It is. I mean I’ll say that on the record on that tape. This is no fair hearing, which is the language that the Department puts on the letter that went out to my client. This is no more a fair hearing than they had in Russia when they were operating under the Soviet system. This is a kangaroo court by definition. It is a court where the Department hires the hearing officer, who’s supposedly independent but relies for her paycheck upon the same entity, where evidence is admitted that is hearsay and in some cases double hearsay, and when then the hearing officer pretends she can rule on that basis.
I – I don’t pretend that this can be a fair hearing. I don’t pretend that a fair decision can be made based upon the statements that have been made by this hearing officer. So I’m wasting my breath. I mean this – this had been a situation where from the first objection I have made, which in my opinion have been very proper and substantive objections, I’ve been treated with nothing but contempt and smirks.
Charges in a third matter involve allegations of misconduct toward opposing counsel. (Mike Frisch)
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