Monday, September 27, 2021

Illinois Sanctions

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced decisions in a number of bar discipline matters including

Ms. Kooi was licensed in Indiana in 2009 and in Illinois in 2010. The Indiana Supreme Court suspended her for 90 days, beginning November 23, 2020, with 30 days of that suspension to be actively served and the remainder stayed subject to completion of at least two years of conditional probation. Her discipline arose from her conviction for battery resulting in bodily injury for struggling and twice spitting on a police officer who had taken her to a hospital for a blood draw after stopping her on suspicion of impaired driving. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended her for 90 days, with the suspension stayed after 30 days by a two-year period of probation, nunc pro tunc to November 23, 2020, subject to the conditions imposed in Indiana, and continuing until her probation in Indiana is terminated. The suspension is effective on October 14, 2021.

Mr. Potere was licensed in Illinois in 2012 and in California in 2015. The Supreme Court of California disbarred him based on his attempt to extort more than $200,000 from his employer, which resulted in a misdemeanor conviction and five-month sentence of imprisonment for the federal criminal offense of unauthorized access to a computer to obtain information. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and entered an order disbarring him in Illinois.

Ms. Koroll, who was licensed in 2001, was suspended for six months, with the suspension stayed after 60 days in favor of a one-year period of conditional probation. Over a period of approximately three weeks in 2015, she sent dozens of emails, text messages, and other communications to attorneys in Florida with whom she was then engaged in a dispute. Many of those messages were vulgar, profane, abusive, included anti-Semitic remarks, and served no purpose other than to harass or burden their recipients. Also, in 2013, she was disqualified from representing a party in a post-decree domestic relations case because her former law partner had been representing the man's spouse while they were members of the same firm. The suspension is effective on October 14, 2021.

Mr. Pondenis, who was licensed in 2006, was suspended for one year and until further order of the Court. In electronic messages with a former client's girlfriend, he revealed information pertaining to his representation of that former client and made improper and abusive statements to the girlfriend. He also made improper and abusive statements to his landlord and the landlord's wife in electronic messages while representing himself in an eviction matter pertaining to his law office. A suspension until further order of the Court is an indefinite suspension which requires the suspended lawyer to petition for reinstatement after the fixed period of suspension ends. Reinstatement is not automatic and must be allowed by the Supreme Court of Illinois following a hearing before the ARDC Hearing Board.

Ms. Gerstetter, who was licensed in 2018, was suspended for 60 days. While working as an associate at a law firm, she submitted false billing records totaling 86.4 hours, which resulted in one of the firm's clients being overbilled by $40,176. The law firm refunded the client's overpayment. The suspension is effective on October 14, 2021.

Mr. Paleczny, who was licensed in 2018, was suspended for one year and until he completes the ARDC's professionalism seminar. As an associate at a Chicago law firm, he falsely billed over 2,000 hours of time to a pro bono matter that had ended, which resulted in his being terminated. Then, in the course of seeking other employment, Mr. Paleczny falsely told at least four prospective employers that he had been laid off from his prior firm. The suspension is effective on October 14, 2021.

(Mike Frisch)

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