Lawyer Fails to Register Then Allegedly Lies to ARDC About It

BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD:

This is a link to a complaint filed by the ARDC against David Kyle Cooper, 2014 PR 00166.

Cooper allegedly failed to register to practice for several years. When questioned by the ARDC, his answers were allegedly false.

The material allegations are as follows:

“24. As of March 27, 2013, Respondent had not registered or paid the fee required by Rule 756, and had been removed from the roll of attorneys. On March 27, 2013, Respondent appeared at the Chicago office of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission pursuant to subpoena for his sworn statement regarding the Administrator’s investigation into Sabourin’s allegations.. During that statement, counsel for the Administrator questioned Respondent about his registration history, including Respondent’s failure to pay his registration fees for 2013.

25. At that time, while testifying under oath, Respondent was asked the following questions about periods of time he had been removed the master roll, and Respondent gave the following answers:

Question: Did you practice at all during the time periods where you have been removed from the master roll?

Answer: No. I don’t believe so, no. It’s possible given that I’m not sure when I would have been knocked off, but I don’t believe I did.

26. Respondent’s statements referenced in paragraph 25, above, were false. Respondent knew that they were false because Respondent knew he had failed to timely pay his registration eight times over the ten-year period, that he received notices that he had been removed from the master roll each time he did not pay between 2003 and 2012, and that he had to pay the past-due registration fees and penalties eight times in order to be restored to the master roll and authorized to practice law again. Respondent further knew that he was representing his clients Coriglione and Caleel during periods of time when he had not paid his registration fees and penalties and had been removed from the master roll of attorneys.

27. During his March 27, 2013 sworn statement at the Commission, while testifying under oath, Respondent was also asked the following questions about his personal divorce matter and he gave the following answers:

Question: Did the Court as a result hold you in contempt?
Answer: No.
****
Question: So no order of contempt was ever entered?
Answer: No.
****
Question: Are you aware of any orders being entered that you should be remanded?
Answer: No, there hasn’t been. I know there hasn’t been.
****
Question: So, to your knowledge, there has never been any civil or criminal contempt matter relative to this matter (the divorce) entered against you?
Answer: No.

28. Respondent’s statements referenced in paragraph 27, above, were false and Respondent knew they were false. Respondent knew that in case number 08 D 6180, Judge David Haracz had entered orders on November 9, 2010, August 8, 2011 and June 5, 2012, finding Respondent in indirect civil contempt of court for Respondent’s failure to have complied with orders requiring him to pay child support. Respondent further knew that on June 5, 2012, Judge Haracz ordered that Respondent be remanded to Cook County Jail until he purged the contempt by paying a $10,000 cash bond and that the commitment had been stayed until July 3, 2012 if Respondent paid $2,500 before that time to purge the contempt.

29. By reason of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:
in connection with a disciplinary matter, knowingly making false statements of material fact, by stating in a disciplinary matter that he had not practiced while removed from the master roll and that he had not been held in contempt in his own divorce case, in violation of Rule 8.1(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010); and conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, by stating in a disciplinary matter that he had not practiced while removed from the master roll and that he had not been held in contempt in his own divorce case, in violation of Rule 8.4 (a) (4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).”

Comment: Again, the ARDC often has more information in its file than the lawyer is aware that it has. The lawyer is then questioned by the ARDC based on the information in the file. If the lawyer lies about something, the ARDC adds more charges to the complaint. This is one reason that you should always retain counsel when called to the ARDC for a deposition.

Disclaimer: this blog post is based on allegations in a complaint that have not been proved. There has been no fact hearing to determine whether or not the allegations are true or false.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.




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