ARDC Review Board Affirms Two-Year Suspension for Lawyer Who Attacked Integrity of Judges

Filed November 4:

‘via Blog this’

A lawyer lost an appeal and then filed a lawsuit attacking the integrity of Illinois Appellate Justices. That complaint was dismissed and then the ARDC filed charges. The Hearing Board recommended that he be suspended for two years and until further order of court. The Review Board affirmed that suspension recommendation. The relevant portion of the opinion is quoted here:

Following the Illinois Supreme Court’s denial of his petition for leave to appeal, Respondent filed six separate pleadings in which he attacked the integrity and qualifications of the Third District panel members. Each of these pleadings forms the basis of one of the six counts in the Administrator’s complaint against Respondent.

In October 2011, Respondent filed a complaint naming Justices McDade, Wright, and O’Brien as defendants, in addition to Gross, Air Cap, and C.A.P. In this complaint, Respondent accused the justices of altering the record on appeal by fabricating an order dismissing counts in plaintiff’s second amended complaint, with the intent to defraud plaintiff.

The complaint referred to the “corruption which pervades the Rule 23 order.” It accused the justices of committing the crime of official misconduct, engaging in fraud and deceit, and corrupting the legal process, among other things. The complaint asked the court to vacate the dismissal of the 2008 case and the denial of the petition for relief from judgment in the 2005 case. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.

In his response to the motion to dismiss, Respondent again accused the justices of official misconduct and knowingly tampering with court records. The court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss. Respondent then filed a motion to reconsider, stating that his complaint sought relief from judicial corruption. The motion was denied.

Respondent appealed from the dismissal order, stating that the appellate court’s Rule 23 order was due to fraud and corruption perpetrated by the Third District. The appeal was assigned to the Second District, which affirmed the dismissal. Respondent petitioned for rehearing, and again claimed the Rule 23 order was corrupt. He also accused the Second Circuit of lying and making misrepresentations about the 2011 complaint. His petition was denied. He then filed a petition for leave to appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court, which was denied.

In September 2012, Respondent filed another complaint against Justices McDade, Wright, and O’Brien with the Circuit Court of Peoria County. This complaint was almost identical to the 2011 complaint that had been dismissed. It claimed that the justices tampered with public records, engaged in official misconduct, committed fraud and deceit on plaintiff and the public, and engaged in corruption of the legal process. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, which was granted. Respondent’s motion to reconsider was pending at the time of hearing in this matter.

Respondent’s Basis for His Accusations

At hearing, counsel for the Administrator asked Respondent what specific facts or evidence he relied upon, at the time he made his accusations about the justices, to support the allegations. Respondent testified at great length about the basis of his accusations. His reason boils down to one thing: that the justices had numerous chances to correct their misstatements, but even after being told repeatedly that they were wrong, never did. Thus, Respondent believes that there could be no other reason for their failure to correct their misstatements than the improper purposes he attributed to them.

Comment: those who attack the integrity of judges can expect harsh discipline, such as in this matter.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.

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