Monday, December 5, 2022

Reinstatement Favored

An Illinois Hearing Board has recommended the reinstatement of a suspended attorney with conditions

Petitioner was licensed to practice law in Illinois in 1996. After receiving his license, he worked for the Illinois Attorney General for three years. (Tr. 98-99). He then worked for a short time for Hinshaw & Culbertson but found the billing expectations unmanageable and was asked to leave the firm. (Tr. 100). For the next four years, he worked as a sole practitioner and as an associate at Romanucci & Blandin, handling plaintiff’s personal injury matters. He was let go from Romanucci & Blandin after he failed to file a case before the statute of limitations passed. (Tr. 102-103).

Petitioner and his wife then moved to Springfield, where Petitioner’s family lived. Petitioner’s father, the Hon. Richard H. Mills, is an attorney and retired United States District Judge for the Central District of Illinois. Petitioner began working as a Sangamon County Assistant State’s Attorney on February 1, 2005. (Tr. 104). At this time, Petitioner was having marital difficulties and was self-medicating with marijuana, alcohol, and cocaine. (Tr. 105). He was using a gram of cocaine per month with his wife and with another Assistant State’s Attorney. (Tr. 74-76).

In January 2006, the Sangamon County State’s Attorney was informed of a federal investigation into Petitioner’s drug activities. Petitioner was given the choice of resigning or being fired, so he resigned. (Tr. 110). Petitioner and his wife divorced in 2006. (Tr. 113)

He was suspended for two years and until further order.

Substantial rehabilitation

Petitioner is to be commended for his efforts in rehabilitating himself. Most importantly, he has maintained sobriety for over 12 years and has been consistent in obtaining mental health treatment and complying with his physician’s recommendations. The opinions of Dr. Bennett and Dr. Finkenbine satisfy us that Petitioner’s substance use disorders are in sustained remission, and there is no mental health reason that would inhibit his ability to practice law.

The evidence pertaining to Petitioner’s employment at the Water Reclamation District further supports our determination that he has returned to a constructive and trustworthy role. We find credible the testimony of Petitioner’s co-workers that he has been an exemplary and valued employee since 2014.

(Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink


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