Thursday, November 24, 2022

Illinois Sanctions

Summaries of decisions entered yesterday by the Illinois Supreme Court include

Mr. Duebbert, a former circuit court judge in St. Clair County who was licensed in 1990, was suspended for one year and until further order of the Court. In 2016 and 2107, he made false statements to the police and to the Judicial Inquiry Board about his contacts with a friend of his who was the subject of a criminal investigation. He has been suspended on an interim basis since July 13, 2020. 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. Yohanna, who was licensed in 2009, was suspended for six months. While working as an investigator for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability ("COPA") in Chicago, she repeatedly, and without authorization, accessed a private database of police records in violation of the terms of her employment. When an investigation ensued, she falsely reported that another COPA investigator, whom she wrongly suspected of having reported her misconduct, was planning on carrying out a mass shooting at the COPA office. The suspension is effective on December 14, 2022.

Mr. Kolb, who was licensed in 1994, was suspended for 30 days. Ten months after learning of his personal injury client's death, Mr. Kolb prepared and sent a letter to an insurance company demanding settlement for injuries and for "future pain and physical limitations." The insurance company made a counteroffer, and Mr. Kolb purported to enter into a settlement agreement despite never having taken steps to substitute the deceased client's estate as the claimant. He did so even though he knew that the insurance company was unaware that his client had died. The suspension is effective on December 14, 2022.

(Mike Frisch)

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