January 7, 2010
Dishonest By Omission
Perhaps the most famous name in the history of Illinois bar discipline belongs to James Himmel, who was suspended for failure to report the misconduct of the client's prior counsel. His second brush with professional discipline has none of the drama or scholarly interest, as the Review Board recommends a 30 day suspension for neglect and misrepresentation. A Hearing Board had declined to find a misrepresentation and had proposed a censure. The review board disagreed:
[Client] Mager’s breach of warranty action became time-barred on October 5, 2004. Despite having spoken to his client at least once after that date, the Respondent did not inform Mager until March 2006 that he had taken no action concerning his case. The Respondent never informed his client that he lost his cause of action as a result. Mager did not become aware of the consequences of the Respondent’s neglect until counsel for the Administrator told him in September 2007.
Failure to keep a client informed of such an important matter has been found to be dishonest conduct by omission.
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