Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Behind Closed Doors

The Illinois Administrator has filed a three count complaint alleging that (1) the attorney went into a judge's chambers and, out of the presence of the judge's secretary, copied the judge's calender without authority, used the copy as part of a motion and lied to the judge about how he had obtained the copy; (2) solicited sex from an undercover officer; and (3) entered a jail facility to meet with a client, identifying himself as her attorney. According to the complaint, then:

Correctional Officer Melissa Pettus escorted [the client] to an interview room. Respondent insisted to Pettus that the door to the interview room be closed, telling her that leaving the door open would violate the attorney-client privilege. Pettus, after consulting with supervisors, complied with the request and closed the door to the interview room.

Correctional Officer Jay Hawks entered an observation room which was adjacent to the interview room; the observation room permitted a person standing in it to view the occupants of the adjacent interview room through a two-way glass partition.

In the interview room, Respondent began kissing and embracing [the client]. At one point he rubbed her back, and at another point he grasped her buttocks.

Hawks observed the above-described behavior from the observation room. As the intimate behavior continued, Correctional Corporal Tammy Powell entered the observation room. When she observed the conduct between Respondent and [the client] she entered the interview room and told Respondent that the visit was over.

Respondent used his status as [an] attorney to obtain access to [the client] for the purpose of having personal physical contact with her.

The complaint states that the lawyer represented the client in a divorce matter. She was being held on drug charges at the time of the alleged incident. (Mike Frisch)


Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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