Thursday, September 26, 2013
An Illinois Hearing Board has recommended a public censure of an attorney who was found to have engaged in commingling and conversion, but not dishonesty, in connection with a payment made by the client to compensate another attorney.
The board expressed some concerns about its proposed sanction:
Although we are somewhat troubled by Respondent's attitude that he has been unfairly burdened by this disciplinary process, we believe censure is the appropriate sanction. We are encouraged Respondent has taken steps to improve communication with his clients and has made changes to his office procedures. He stated he added more assistants and has required his staff to take "CLE classes." We believe Respondent would similarly benefit from additional instruction and require him to take the course offered by the Illinois Professional Responsibility Institute.
Accordingly, after considering the nature of the Respondent's misconduct, the evidence in mitigation and aggravation, and the precedent discussed above, we recommend that the Respondent...be censured and be required to complete the Illinois Professional Responsibility Institute course within one year of the Court's final order in this matter.