July 29, 2011
The Wrong Purse
The Illinois Review Board has recommended a suspension of nine months and until further order of an attorney who, among other things, made a false statement concerning her bar status to a court. The attorney had been suspended for non-payment of annual registration fees.
The circumstances of the false statement:
[The attorney] appeared with her client, Cory Gallagher, on a criminal matter in the Circuit Court of St. Clair County on January 27, 2010. In the courtroom, Assistant State's Attorney Emma Curtis told [the attorney] that she was informed that Thompson was not licensed in Illinois and asked if [she] had her ARDC card. [The attorney] told Curtis that she was registered in Illinois and had left her ARDC card in a different purse. Later, [she] asked Judge Zina Cruse to continue Cory Gallagher's case. Judge Cruse also asked [her] if she was licensed in Illinois. [The attorney] told Judge Cruse that she was licensed and knew her ARDC number. When Judge Cruse asked [her] to produce her ARDC card, [She] stated that she did not have it with her. Judge Cruse then left the bench to check the status of [her] license on her computer. Judge Cruse returned with information from the ARDC website indicating that [she] was not licensed and ordered [her] to leave the courtroom.
Judge Cruse testified that [the attorney's] conduct was "certainly somewhat disruptive" because her courtroom was full of people. She further testified that Cory Gallagher approached the bench after [she] was ordered to leave to try to speak with Judge Cruse. She advised Gallagher that she could not speak with him and that he should determine what he needed to do about getting representation.
[The attorney] admitted that her statements to Assistant State's Attorney Curtis and Judge Cruse about the status of her license were false. She admitted that she knowingly made a false statement of law to a tribunal...
There was mitigating evidence of alcoholism and depression. (Mike Frisch)
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