Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's In A Name?

The Illinois Administrator has filed a three count complaint alleging misconduct by an attorney with the rather unusual last name of Cahnmann.

Count One alleges that the attorney copied a judge's calender without permission and falsely denied that he had done so:

On a date between October 19, 2007 and November 1, 2007, Respondent went to the desk of Shirley Vinson, the receptionist/secretary for Judge Gramlich and other judges whose offices were located on the fifth floor of the Sangamon County Building. Her desk sat in an anteroom outside the judges’ chambers; the anteroom is not generally accessible to the public. Access is gained to the anteroom either by buzzing a door to be admitted from the hallway, or by going through doors located behind the bench in the courtrooms on the fifth floor.

Vinson was not present when Respondent approached her desk. He looked at Judge Gramlich’s calendar, which Vinson kept on top of her desk. The calendar was not a public document. Vinson kept Judge Gramlich’s personal appointments as well as court matters on the calendar.

Respondent paged through the calendar to the page dated March 1, 2007. Respondent saw that the page reflected an entry at the 11:45 a.m. time slot written as "93D554 – Samuel." The written entry had a line drawn through it.

Respondent picked up the calendar, went to the copier located several feet behind Vinson’s desk, and made a copy of the March 1, 2007 calendar page. He then returned the calendar to the top of Vinson’s desk.

Count Two alleges that the attorney solicited oral sex from two undercover police officers.

Count Three alleges misconduct in the Sangamon Copunty Correctional Facility:

On November 6, 2002, Correctional Officer Wendy Smysor operated the control room at the Sangamon County Correctional Facility. She asked Respondent to sign the log-in book. Respondent signed the log sheet as "atty."

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 [the client's] attorney to obtain access to [her] for the purpose of having personal physical contact with her. reports that the attorney was a Springfield Alderman at the time of his arrest. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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