Illinois Supreme Court Disbars 10, Suspends 16 in Latest Disciplinary Filing
The Illinois Supreme Court announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on September 20, 2018. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.
- Warren Ballentine III, Durham, N.C.
Mr. Ballentine, who was licensed in 2002, was disbarred. After a four-day federal jury trial, he was found guilty on one count of fraud, one count of mail and wire fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and two counts of making false statements to financial institutions. He acted as a lawyer in real estate closings that involved more than two dozen fraudulent loans that bilked lenders out of almost $10 million. He was suspended on an interim basis and until further order of the Court on October 21, 2015.
- James Lyston Evertts, Cambell, Calif.
Mr. Evertts was licensed in Illinois in 1978 and in California in 1990. The Supreme Court of California disbarred him for misappropriating $425,000 in connection with a trust matter and for other misconduct. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
- Walter Ryan Haybert, Long Beach, Calif.
Mr. Haybert was licensed in Illinois in 2006 and in California in 2008. The Supreme Court of California disbarred him following a misdemeanor conviction of contempt of court for violating a protective order requiring him to stay at least 100 feet away from his ex-wife. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
- Michael Kleinmuntz, Chicago
Mr. Kleinmuntz, who was licensed in 1985, was disbarred on consent. In connection with the settlement of 24 separate client matters, Mr. Kleinmuntz misappropriated $247,500 to his own use rather than pay that money to his clients or their lienholders.
- Donald James McNeil, Chicago
Mr. McNeil, who was licensed in 1986, was disbarred on consent. He misappropriated over $198,000 from his client funds account from funds frozen by court order.
- Corey Edward Meyer, Chicago
Mr. Meyer, who was licensed in 1985, was disbarred on consent. He neglected two client matters, causing both clients to lose their claims due to the passing of the applicable statutes of limitation. He also made repeated false statements to the two clients, fabricated a court order, and made false representations to the ARDC to impede its disciplinary investigation into his misconduct.
- Michael Naphtali Miller, Homewood
Mr. Miller, who was licensed in 1983, was disbarred on consent. He misappropriated at least $223,480 in settlement funds that he was holding in his trust account pending distribution to clients and third-party lienholders. He was suspended on an interim basis on June 12, 2018.
- Nickolas Kosmas Prittis, Des Plaines
Mr. Prittis, who was licensed in 2000, was disbarred on consent. He was convicted in state court of loan fraud in an amount exceeding $100,000 and, in a separate criminal proceeding, was convicted of felony theft of an amount of more than $10,000 but less than $100,000.
- Robert Jon Schlyer, Portage, Ind.
Mr. Schlyer, who was licensed in 1998, was disbarred on consent. After a five-day federal trial, a federal jury found him guilty of the offenses of wire fraud and bank fraud. He engaged in a scheme to enable certain of his clients to fraudulently retain the use of loan funds. He was suspended on an interim basis and until further order of the Court on March 2, 2018.
- David Raymond Wroblewski, Phoenix, Ariz.
Mr. Wroblewski, who was licensed in 1998, was disbarred on consent. He disbursed approximately $90,000 from his client funds account in violation of a bankruptcy court order prohibiting distribution of the funds.
- Leo Michael Bleiman, Chicago
Mr. Bleiman, who was licensed in 1972, was suspended from the practice of law for one year and until further order of the Court, with the suspension stayed after sixty days by a one-year term of conditional probation. He mismanaged $1,569 in client settlement funds due to his failure to keep required financial records. The suspension is effective on October 11, 2018.
- Linda L. Gray, East Troy, Wis.
Ms. Gray was licensed in in Wisconsin in 1982 and in Illinois in 1983. She was suspended in Wisconsin for sixty days for drafting a will for a person unrelated to her that left Ms. Gray a residual testamentary gift of nearly $300,000. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended her for sixty days. The suspension is effective on October 11, 2018.
- Scott Thomas Kamin, Chicago
Mr. Kamin, who was licensed in 1995, was suspended for ninety days. He dishonestly accepted service of a complaint and summonses for the subtenants in his office suite, who, along with Mr. Kamin, were defendants in an eviction action filed by his landlord. After he accepted service on behalf of the subtenants, he concealed the lawsuit from them. When he appeared in court for the case, he failed to inform the court that he had not been authorized to accept service or appear on behalf of the subtenants. The suspension is effective on October 11, 2018.
- Marlin E. Kirby, Oak Park
Mr. Kirby, who was licensed in 1990, was suspended for five months. He represented a client in a criminal matter while his law license was suspended for misconduct. Additionally, he did not disclose his suspension to the court or opposing counsel in that matter. The suspension is effective on October 11, 2018.
- Michael Leonard Loprieno, Bloomingdale
Mr. Loprieno, who was licensed in 2010, was suspended for five months. He forged two documents in connection with obtaining a $25,000 loan for his family's finance company. The suspension is effective on October 11, 2018.
- Michael Bernard Potere*, West Newton, Mass.
Mr. Potere, who was licensed in 2012, was suspended on an interim basis and until further order of the Court. He attempted to extort more than $200,000 from his law firm employer. This conduct resulted in a federal conviction on one count of unauthorized access to a computer to obtain information, a class A misdemeanor.
- Paul G. Prendergast, Marion
Mr. Prendergast, who was licensed in 1988, was suspended for two years and until further order of the Court. In spite of two prior misdemeanor convictions for driving under the influence ("DUI"), he failed to report a later aggravated DUI conviction, a felony, to the ARDC, as required by Illinois Supreme Court rules.
- Miguel Antonio Prieto, Chicago
Mr. Prieto, who was licensed in 2005, was suspended for one year and until further order of the Court, with the suspension stayed after thirty days if he completes the payment of certain restitution, by a two-year period of conditional probation. He neglected two client matters, engaged in the unauthorized practice of law when he continued to practice law after failing to comply with minimum continuing legal education requirements and failing to register, converting $500 in funds that he accepted for filing fees, and making misrepresentations to a client about the status of her legal matter. The suspension is effective on October 11, 2018.
- Drew Randolph Quitschau, Urbana
Mr. Quitschau, who was licensed in 2002, was suspended for six months and until further order of the Court. He created an account and false profile for another attorney on the website Match.com, and enrolled that lawyer in online groups, including the Obesity Action Coalition, Pig International and Diabetic Living, without that lawyer's knowledge or permission. He also created a false Facebook profile account and posted false reviews of that lawyer's legal abilities on three other websites.
- Gordon Charles Ring, Rockford
Mr. Ring, who was licensed in 1977, was suspended for two years. He misappropriated over $124,000 in client and third-party funds in two personal injury matters. In a third personal injury matter, he did not perform any work after filing a complaint on behalf of his client and did not appear at status hearings, which resulted in the court dismissing the case. He then failed to inform his client of the case's dismissal and later misappropriated $10,000 of other clients' funds in order to resolve the matter with the client. The suspension is effective on October 11, 2018.
- Laura Lee Robinson, Centreville
Ms. Robinson, who was licensed in 1993, was suspended for ninety days and must complete the ARDC Professionalism Seminar within one year. She entered into an agreement that improperly prohibited her client from reporting any aspect of her representation to the ARDC. Approximately nine months later, after her client informed her that he no longer wanted her to represent him, she drafted a letter that disclosed information about her client's criminal history, and that levelled accusations against him, including that he wanted to "bribe the court" and was a "con man." She thereafter filed the letter with the court without her client's consent. The suspension is effective on October 11, 2018.
- Babette Pauline Salus, Springfield
Ms. Salus, who was licensed in 1985, was suspended for one year and until further order of the Court. She failed to deposit security retainers into a client trust account and did not comply with a client's requests for a billing statement and for a status of the client's case. After the client terminated her representation, she did not respond to the client's request for a refund of unearned fees or for a return of the client's file. She also made false representations to the ARDC to impede its disciplinary investigation into her misconduct.
- Steven Charles Scudder*, Centreville
Mr. Scudder, who was licensed in 1981, was suspended on an interim basis and until further order of the Court. He was convicted of wire fraud and aiding and abetting in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
- Richard Jude Wasik, Chicago
Mr. Wasik, who was licensed in 1985, was suspended for thirty days. While representing buyers in a residential real estate transaction, he converted to his own use a total of $1,118 in funds that he agreed to hold on his clients' behalf in connection with the purchase of the property. The suspension is effective on October 11, 2018.
- Matthew Robert Wildermuth, Bolingbrook
Mr. Wildermuth, who was licensed in 1989, was suspended for six months. He neglected a client's breach of contract action over a period of two years, made multiple misrepresentations to the client and the client's agent about the status of the case, charged and collected fees for work that he never performed, and fabricated an order of default and entry of judgment. The suspension is effective on October 11, 2018.
- Ernest Eugene Wiley Jr., Bellwood
Mr. Wiley, who was licensed in 1992, was suspended for six months and until further order of the Court. He represented clients in three separate legal matters after the ARDC had notified him that he had been removed from the Roll of Attorneys for failure to register and was no longer authorized to practice law. While he was removed from the Roll of Attorneys, Mr. Wiley, among other conduct, appeared on behalf of clients in court, counseled a client with respect to a guardianship proceeding, participated in settlement discussions in a collection case, and drafted orders for a judge's signature.
Steven Michael Goldman, Waukegan
Mr. Goldman, who was licensed in 1998, was censured. During the course of representing a client in a dispute with an automobile repair shop, he falsely told his client that he had settled the dispute and obtained settlement proceeds when, in fact, he had done neither.
*The order was entered by the court before the September 2018 term, but not included in any prior release.