Wednesday, October 10, 2018
An Illinois Review Board report is summarized below
The Administrator charged Respondent with dishonestly converting the funds of three separate and unrelated clients. The Hearing Board found that Respondent had converted the funds of one client, though not dishonestly, and recommended that Respondent be suspended from the practice of law for six months, with the suspension stayed in its entirety by one year of probation with conditions designed to monitor Respondent's bookkeeping practices. The Hearing Board found no misconduct as to the other two clients.
The Administrator filed exceptions, challenging, as against the manifest weight of the evidence, the Hearing Board's determination that he had failed to prove that Respondent had dishonestly converted the funds of a second client. He also challenged the Hearing Board's sanction recommendation, and asked the Review Board to recommend at least a one-year suspension with no probation. The Administrator did not appeal from the Hearing Board's finding of no misconduct as to a third client.
The majority of the review panel concluded that evidence supported the Hearing Board's findings in connection with the second client, and thus affirmed the Hearing Board's finding of no misconduct with respect to that client. The majority also agreed with the Hearing Board's recommendation that Respondent be suspended for six months, with the suspension stayed in its entirety by a one-year period of probation with conditions, based upon Respondent's one instance of conversion.
A dissenting member of the review panel concluded that the Hearing Board's findings of fact and resulting finding of no misconduct as to the second client were against the manifest weight of the evidence, and therefore would reverse the finding of no misconduct as to the second client and recommend that Respondent be suspended for one year and until he completes the ARDC Professionalism seminar.