Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Family Law Practitioner Charged With Sexual Assaults

The Illinois Administrator has filed a complaint alleging a series of sexual assaults by an attorney on employees and as a guardian ad litem

At all times related to the allegations in this complaint, Respondent served as a chair or committee member for numerous legal organizations, contributed to and authored several articles for legal journals, was well known in the family law community and had been invited to give speeches at several bar associations and law schools in the Chicago area about various topics involving family law.

It is alleged

On April 1, 2011, Jane Doe 1 began employment as an associate at the firm. At the time of her hiring, Jane Doe 1 was 26 years old and had been admitted to the Illinois bar for approximately five months. Her employment at the firm was her first full-time job as a licensed Illinois attorney.

As Jane Doe 1's employer, Respondent maintained a position of power over her, in that she was financially dependent upon her job at the firm as her only source of income. In addition, during the duration of her employment, Respondent routinely told Jane Doe 1 about his connections in the family law field, including connections with judges, attorneys, and bar associations and implied his ability to affect her professional success.

In March 21, 2012, Respondent was scheduled to appear before the Illinois Supreme Court to give oral argument in a pending matter. Prior to that scheduled appearance, Respondent and Jane Doe 1 agreed that she would also travel to Springfield with him to help him prepare for the argument. When later discussing the trip, Respondent stated to Jane Doe 1 that he would be reserving one hotel room for them to share. After hearing Respondent's statement, Jane Doe 1 became anxious about the trip. Thereafter, and prior to the trip, Jane Doe 1 learned that two rooms had been booked for the stay in Springfield.

On March 20, 2012, the day that Respondent and Jane Doe 1 traveled to Springfield for the appearance before the Illinois Supreme Court, Respondent drove a rented vehicle and Jane Doe 1 was sitting in the front passenger seat. During the trip, Respondent, using one hand, began touching Jane Doe 1's shoulders, arms and legs. Jane Doe 1 repeatedly told Respondent to stop touching her and moved his hand away. Respondent responded by momentarily stopping but would again continue the unwanted touching.

At no time did Jane Doe 1 give her consent to Respondent to touch her in the manner described...above.

When they arrived at the hotel in Springfield, Respondent requested adjacent rooms for Jane Doe 1 and himself. The following morning, Respondent used a second key to enter Jane Doe 1's room unannounced while she was getting ready for the day. Jane Doe 1 was surprised by Respondent's appearance in her room and advised him that she needed more time to get ready, expecting Respondent to leave. Respondent did not leave her room, so she gathered her suitcase and clothes and finished getting dressed and ready in the bathroom of her hotel room.

At no time did Jane Doe 1 consent to Respondent's actions, as described...above.

 After the March 2012 trip to Springfield, described..above, and until September 2018, when Jane Doe 1 left her employment at the firm, Respondent, on almost a daily basis when both were present at the office, pressed his body against hers, pushed Jane Doe 1 against a wall so that she was pinned between him and the wall and, while doing so, forcibly kissed her face and/or neck and forcibly placed his hands on top and underneath her clothing and touched her pelvic and vaginal and breast areas; and/or, while pressing his body against hers, forcibly penetrated her vaginally with his fingers; and/or repeatedly walked up behind her chair while she was seated at her desk and forcibly placed his hands on top and/or underneath her clothing and touched her breasts; and/or, while pressing his body against hers, forcibly bent her over the counter in the firm's kitchen and touched her body, including her neck and/or legs and/or pelvic and/or breast areas.

At no time did Jane Doe 1 consent to Respondent's actions, as described...above.

Respondent's conduct, as described...above, often took place in Respondent's personal office at the firm when Jane Doe 1 entered to discuss cases and also in Jane Doe 1's office after Respondent entered and closed the door to her office. Also, during his conduct, Respondent used obscene and vulgar language and requested Jane Doe 1 to speak to him in the same manner but she refused. Respondent repeatedly told Jane Doe 1 she was "hot," that potential male clients would hire the firm because she was cute and that male clients wanted to "sleep with her." In addition, Respondent would request car rides from Jane Doe 1 from the office or from his home to attend meetings at the North Suburban Bar Association and, while she was driving, would touch her legs, arms, shoulders and/or breasts.

At no time did Jane Doe 1 consent to Respondent's actions, as described...above.

In addition to Respondent's conduct, described..above, between April 6, 2012 and June 30, 2014, on at least four occasions at the firm and in Respondent's personal office, Respondent, while pressing his body against hers, forcibly pulled Jane Doe 1's panties away from her body and forcibly penetrated her vagina with his penis. The final time this occurred was on June 30, 2014, after Jane Doe 1 announced to the other office employees and Respondent, that she had become engaged to be married over the previous weekend.

Charges also involve a second associate

Beginning in approximately May, 2015, and continuing until Jane Doe 2's departure from the firm, in October 2017, Respondent, on a periodic basis, while pressing his body against hers, forcibly kissed her neck; and/or, while pressing his body against hers, forcibly pushed her against a credenza so that she was pinned between him and the credenza and, while doing so, forcibly touched Jane Doe 2's body both on top and underneath her clothing, including touching her legs, pelvic and breast areas; and/or forcibly placed his hands under her dress to touch her legs while she was on speakerphone discussing work-related matters with clients, other attorneys and court representatives; and/or forcibly pulled her onto his lap during work-related conference calls; and/or walked up behind Jane Doe 2's chair while she was seated and forcibly placed his hands on top and/or underneath Jane Doe 2's clothing and touched her breasts.

At no time did Jane Doe 2 consent to Respondent's conduct outlined...above.

Respondent's conduct, described...above, took place in Respondent's personal office at the firm with the door shut and during business hours while other employees were at the firm.

During Respondent's actions, described...above, Respondent told Jane Doe 2 that he was looking for a "team player" and that she should be a "team player" and "you're saying no when you should be saying yes." On at least one occasion Respondent stated to her, "Your friend, [Jane Doe 1], does not say no."

As to a paralegal employee

Beginning in December 2016, and continuing until she departed the firm in October 2018, Respondent, on an almost daily basis, while forcibly pressing his body against hers, pushed Jane Doe 3 against a wall of the office elevator, pinning her between himself and the elevator wall and, while doing so, forcibly kissed her face and neck; and/or, while forcibly pressing his body against hers, forcibly placed his hands both on top and underneath her clothing and touched her legs, pelvic, vaginal and/or breast areas; and/or, while forcibly pressing his body against hers, penetrated her vagina and anus with his fingers; and/or walked up behind Jane Doe 3's chair and forcibly placed his hands on top and/or underneath Jane Doe 3's clothing and touched her legs and/or thighs and/or breasts. On multiple occasions, Respondent exposed his genitals to Jane Doe 3, and on one occasion he gestured for her to perform oral sex upon him, which she refused to do.

At no time did Jane Doe 3 consent to Respondent's conduct described...above.

Respondent's conduct, described...above, took place in the elevator and Respondent's personal office with the door shut and during business hours while other employees were at the firm. In addition, during Respondent's conduct, he routinely used obscene and vulgar language and requested that Jane Doe 3 speak to him in the same manner but she refused.

In addition to Respondent's conduct, described...above, in or about September 2017, Respondent, while riding in the back seat of a taxi cab with Jane Doe 3, forcibly placed his hand under her dress and began touching her legs and upper thighs.

At no time did Jane Doe 3 consent to Respondent's conduct described...above.

In addition to Respondent's conduct described...above, on or about Thanksgiving week 2017, after the firm's annual employee holiday dinner at the firm, Respondent called Jane Doe 3 into his office and forcibly and aggressively pushed his body on top of her body, touched her breasts, legs, thighs, removed her panty hose and proceeded to perform oral sex upon her.

In the role of guardian ad litem

After Jane Doe 2 left Respondent's office to meet with N.E.'s husband and his attorney, and for the next 5 to 10 minutes, Respondent continued to tell N.E. that he didn't think he would be able to recommend shared custody of her children to the court and that custody would likely be awarded to one parent. Respondent then forcibly placed his hand under N.E.'s neck scarf and began touching her breasts both on top and underneath her clothing. Respondent continued to talk about N.E.'s text messages to her husband and forcibly placed his hand under her dress and began stroking her legs.

At no time did N.E. consent to Respondent's conduct described...above.

During Respondent's conduct, described..above, Respondent stated to N.E. that, in order to receive his support in recommending that she receive sole custody, she only had to "do a little extra something" and that she was a "smart girl" and that if she really wanted her children, he could "do that" for her if she would have sex with him. N.E., upset and concerned about custody of her children, got up from Respondent's couch and told him that she would consider his offer but needed time. N.E. then left Respondent's office and joined Calzaretta, Jane Doe 2, her husband and his attorney.

On March 15, 2017, after the conclusion of the meeting at the firm, N.E. described Respondent's conduct to Calzaretta who advised her that he would need to withdraw from her case due to the possibility that he may be a witness to an assault. Calzaretta subsequently withdrew from N.E.'s case and arranged new counsel for her. The case later settled with N.E. and her husband agreeing to a 50/50 custody arrangement of their children, as originally ordered by the court.

Unrelated allegations

On March 16, 2017, while at his downtown Chicago office, Respondent consumed between one half and one pint of vodka. Respondent left his office at approximately 6:30 p.m. and began driving to his home in Glenview, Illinois, by way of the Kennedy Expressway.

While on the Kennedy Expressway, Respondent collided with another vehicle which was driving in the same lane in front of Respondent's vehicle. Respondent did not stop his vehicle after the collision to view any damage caused by the collision or to provide his identification or insurance information to the other driver, nor did Respondent call the authorities to report the collision.

He is alleged to have failed to report his guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge and to have violated agreed conditions for a deferred prosecution  imposed by an Inquiry Board of the ARDC.  (Mike Frisch)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2020/07/the-illinois-administrator-has-filed-a-complaint-at-all-times-related-to-the-allegations-in-this-complaint-respondent-serve.html

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