Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Emails to a federal judge have led to a disciplinary complaint recently filed by the Illinois Administrator.
The attorney for a divorce client brought a federal wiretapping claim against the opposing spouse and her counsel.
The alleged rule violations are that Responsdent
engaging in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal, by conduct including sending emails on April 18, 2017, June 23, 2017 and June 26, 2017 to Judge Finnegan, Allison Engel, and Scott White, through the Proposed Order email account, which were disruptive and were intended to disrupt the court, in violation of Rule 3.5(d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);
making a statement that a lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, by conduct including drafting and sending emails which questioned Judge Finnegan’s integrity and impartiality by stating, in part: "Scott is the lucky guy who senses same as he can just pick up the phone to call you knowing he will get his way…" in her April 18, 2017 email; "And I will call him to testy [sic] at trial to show the world what a corrupt lawyer he is! And the judges who protect this criminal by squeezing the discovery deadlines!!!" and "Judges are helping the criminal to escape punishment by forcing to shorten all deadlines!!! This Judge is violating my client’s rights first by truncated discovery deadlines and now helping Plaintiff to escape punishment for wrongs she committed!" in her June 23, 2017 email; and "For anyone to insult me in this degree calls questions [sic] this court’s sincerity and veracity," "Where do you get this information? Ex Parte communications with Defendant’s attorney, Scott? - smearing dirt behind my back?" and "The more I read this order, again and again, I am sick to my stomach, and I get filled with anger and disgust over this 'fraudulent' order by this court!" in her June 26, 2017 email, in violation of Rule 8.2(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010); and
engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, by conduct including sending emails on April 18, 2017, June 23, 2017 and June 26, 2017 to Judge Finnegan through the Proposed Order email account, which necessitated additional actions taken by Judge Finnegan and caused the expenditure of additional court resources, including Judge Finnegan’s April 18, 2017 email to the parties limiting Respondent’s future use of the proposed order email account, the entry of Judge Finnegan’s June 27, 2017 court order prohibiting Respondent from sending any emails to her or her staff, and Judge Finnegan’s referral of Respondent’s conduct to the Executive Committee of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, in violation of Rule 8.4(d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).