Illinois Supreme Court disbars 6, suspends 11 in latest disciplinary filing
The Supreme Court of Illinois has announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders entered on March 15, 2013 during the January Term of Court. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.
The attached list contains the name of each disciplined lawyer, the address at which the lawyer last practiced, and a brief summary of the misconduct that led to the sanction. The announcement of the orders may be reviewed at the Supreme Court of Illinois website: www.state.il.us/court. Unless otherwise noted, the mandate of discipline issued immediately.
- Andrew Han, Los Angeles
Mr. Han was licensed to practice in Illinois in 1995 and in California in 1993. He was disbarred by the Supreme Court of California after he was convicted of conspiracy to import methamphetamine and ephedrine in violation of federal law. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
- Aaron Ray Isaacson, Arlington Heights
Mr. Isaacson, who was licensed in Illinois in 2008, was disbarred. While serving as an Assistant Lake County State’s Attorney, he engaged in a conspiracy with his roommate and others to possess marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He also obstructed justice by lying to police concerning his knowledge and involvement in his roommate’s drug dealing after his roommate was arrested.
- Bita Loghman, Chicago
Ms. Loghman, who was licensed in 1990, was disbarred on consent. She pled guilty to a federal criminal indictment charging her with conspiracy to commit immigration fraud, making and causing the making of false statements in documents required by immigration laws, and knowingly presenting those documents to immigration authorities. She also failed to notify the ARDC of her conviction.
- Benjamin Obi Nwoye, Chicago
Mr. Nwoye, who was licensed in Illinois in 2001, was disbarred. He neglected five matters, failed to keep his clients reasonably informed about the status of their claims, abandoned his law practice, and failed to cooperate with the ARDC. He also engaged in dishonest conduct in relation to two client matters. Mr. Nwoye failed to appear at his disciplinary hearing.
- Timothy John Stock, Sacramento, Calif.
Mr. Stock, who was licensed in 1974, was disbarred. He was convicted in Sacramento County, California, of the felony offense of unlawfully possessing marijuana for the purpose of sale. He leased a warehouse to two men with the understanding that the men would use the warehouse to cultivate marijuana for distribution. When members of the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement conducted a sweep of the warehouse after a series of electrical transformers overheated in its vicinity, they found 8,000 marijuana plants, 200 lights and ballasts, and other drug paraphernalia.
- Mary Frances Wilkens, Plainfield
Ms. Wilkens, who was licensed in 2001, was disbarred on consent. Between 2006 and 2012, she misappropriated $174,300.53 from her employer, the American Library Association, by writing reimbursement checks to a fictitious vendor which she had created in order to personally receive the benefits of the checks’ proceeds. She then used the proceeds for her own personal purposes.
- Alexander R. Bensky, Ferndale, Mich.
Mr. Bensky was licensed to practice in Illinois in 1983 and in Michigan in 1975. He was suspended in Michigan for a minimum of 180 days for neglecting the appeal of an employment benefits matter and for failing to comply with conditions of discipline imposed on him. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him in Illinois for six months and until further order of the Court.
- William Joseph Ebert, III, Bushnell
Mr. Ebert, who was licensed in Illinois in 2003, was suspended for three years and until further order of the Court. He misappropriated client funds in two separate matters, forged a client’s signature to a settlement check, neglected a client matter, and failed to cooperate with ARDC. He did not appear at his disciplinary hearing.
- Elmer Douglass Ellis, Washington, D.C.
Mr. Ellis was licensed in Illinois in 1986 and in Washington, D.C. in 1990. He was suspended in Washington D.C. for a period of 120 days. He filed a notice of appeal on behalf of a criminal defendant, but thereafter did not file an appellate brief on the client’s behalf despite repeated extensions of time within which to do so. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him in Illinois for 120 days. The suspension is effective on April 5, 2013.
- Marianne Mann Hannigan, Belleville
Ms. Hannigan, who was licensed to practice law in 1990, was suspended for three years and until further order of the Court, with the suspension stayed after six months by conditional probation. She failed to timely comply with various court orders in a number of appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She also submitted a letter to the Court of Appeals and the disciplinary commission which she falsely represented had been drafted and signed by her personal physician. Finally, she left a threatening telephone message to an attorney. The suspension is effective on April 5, 2013.
- Allen W. James, Anna
Mr. James, who was licensed in Illinois in 1997, was suspended for four months. He committed aggravated assault on a process server who was attempting to serve him with a summons in a lawsuit. Mr. James, who was serving as the State’s Attorney of Union County, was named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The suspension is effective on April 5, 2013.
- Ronald James Kurpiers, II, Tampa, Fla.
Mr. Kurpiers was licensed in Illinois in 1987 and in Florida in 2002. He was suspended in Florida for 91 days after he filed a motion to have a client declared indigent and provided the court with an affidavit that he notarized. The affidavit purported to be signed by his client when, in fact, Mr. Kurpiers knew that the client had not signed the document. In addition, he falsely stated that he was representing the client on a pro bono basis although he had received a substantial fee. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him for 91 days and until he is reinstated in Florida. The suspension is effective on April 5, 2013.
- James Edward Musial, Lombard
Mr. Musial, who was licensed in 1982, was suspended for 60 days and until he makes certain restitution. While acting as an escrowee in a real estate transaction, he converted nearly $1,000 in earnest money funds. The suspension is effective on April 5, 2013.
- Francisco Jesus Olavarria, Chicago
Mr. Olavarria, who was licensed in 1995, was suspended for five months, with the suspension stayed by a one-year period of conditional probation. He engaged in two instances of conversion of client funds in two unrelated personal injury cases when, in both matters, he withdrew funds from his trust account to pay his fees and costs weeks before receiving and depositing the settlement checks from the respective insurance providers involved in the personal injury matters.
- Woochoon William Park, Hinsdale
Mr. Park, who was licensed in Illinois in 2002, was suspended for one year. After his former law firm notified him that it would be filing a civil lawsuit against him and that he should not destroy any records or evidence relating to that dispute, Mr. Park deliberately destroyed 90 electronic files that he knew would be damaging to his defense. He also neglected eight patent applications. The suspension is effective on April 5, 2013.
- Jennifer L. Teague, Chicago
Ms. Teague, who was licensed to practice in 1998, was suspended for two years. While serving as an arbitrator for the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, she exchanged ex parte e-mail communications with lawyers in cases pending before her. She also took steps to prevent media representatives from attending a public hearing involving a state trooper. The suspension is effective on April 5, 2013.
- Judd Barton James, Hollywood, Fla.
Mr. James, who was licensed in 1981, was suspended until he complies with obligations imposed upon him after a prior disciplinary suspension, and until further order of the Court. In 2012, he was sanctioned for practicing law before immigration authorities after his name had been removed from the Master Roll of Attorneys because he failed to pay registration fees or comply with Minimum Continuing Legal Education requirements. In addition, he made false statements to a tribunal about his registration status.
- Bennett R. Klasky, Northbrook
Mr. Klasky, who was licensed in 1984, was censured and ordered to complete the ARDC Professionalism Seminar. He neglected a client’s personal injury claim and then misled the client about the status of the matter. Because he did not file a civil claim on her behalf, the claim became time-barred.
- Thomas Gary Glick, St. Louis
Mr. Glick was licensed to practice in Missouri in 1995 and in Illinois in 2000. The Supreme Court of Missouri reprimanded him for neglecting a probate matter and inadvertently destroying a client’s file. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and reprimanded him.
The following attorneys were placed on permanent retirement status:
- Theodore Stanley Proud, Springfield
- Donald Warren Segal, Chicago