Illinois Supreme Court Disbars 3, Suspends 13 in Latest Disciplinary Filing
The Illinois Supreme Court announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on March 19, 2019. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.
Mark Anthony Brueggemann, Collinsville
Mr. Brueggemann, who was licensed to practice law in 1983, was disbarred on consent. In late 2018, he pled guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography in the United States District Court Southern District of Illinois.
Steven Edward Dyer, Sunset Hills, Missouri
Mr. Dyer was licensed to practice in Illinois in 1996 and in Missouri in 1994. He was disbarred in Missouri for failing to appear in court on behalf of clients, abandoning the defense of several clients’ criminal matters, failing to appear before a judge pursuant to an order to show cause as to why he should not be held in criminal contempt, and forging a judge’s signature on two court orders. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
Darren Anthony Fish, Chicago
Mr. Fish, who was licensed in 2006, was disbarred on consent. He sold tablets containing a controlled substance to an undercover member of the Chicago Police Department who responded to a listing on Craigslist. The transaction took place within 1,000 feet of a school.
Christopher James Acuna, Chicago
Mr. Acuna, who was licensed in 2014, was suspended for forty-five days. A business terminated his employment and severed Mr. Acuna’s access to an internal database. About one month after being terminated, and while he was contemplating pursuing a claim against his former employer, he accessed the firm’s database by fraudulently using another employee’s log-in information to obtain information about commissions he believed that he was owed. The suspension is effective on April 9, 2019.
Ruth A. Batey, Chicago
Ms. Batey was licensed in both Illinois and Indiana in 1995. The Indiana Supreme Court accepted her resignation from the bar after she failed to comply with reasonable requests for information from a personal injury client, failed to promptly deliver funds in the amount of $1,036 or provide an accounting to that client, commingled her own property with the property of others in her trust account, made hundreds of online or electronic transfers from her trust account without written withdrawal authorization as required under Indiana rules, and attempted to interfere with a subpoena issued to her bank by the Indiana disciplinary authority. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended her until she is reinstated in Indiana. The suspension is effective on April 9, 2019.
Narles William Coleman, Chicago
Mr. Coleman was licensed in Indiana in 2002 and in Illinois in 2007. The Indiana Supreme Court suspended him from the practice of law for at least two years without automatic reinstatement for mishandling the defense of a felony child molestation case by missing court appearances, misleading his client, attempting to renegotiate an unreasonable fee and, in a separate matter, battering his own spouse. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him for two years and until he is reinstated in Indiana. The suspension is effective on April 9, 2019.
Arnell Damani Harris, Chicago
Mr. Harris, who was licensed in 2006, was suspended for six months and until further order of the Court. He neglected a client’s criminal case by missing court on at least six occasions, resulting in a body attachment being issued against both Mr. Harris and his client. He also failed to communicate with his client and did not participate in the disciplinary proceeding.
Michael Thomas Herbst, Washington, Michigan
Mr. Herbst, who was licensed in 2007, was suspended for two years and until further order of the Court, with the suspension stayed after six months by a two-year period of conditional probation. On at least twenty different occasions, he placed a video flash drive in a hidden location in a co-worker’s office without that person’s knowledge or consent. Using the video flash drive, Respondent then recorded images of the co-worker in various stages of undress while that individual was changing clothes. The suspension is effective on April 9, 2019.
Michael Glenn Holzman, Highland Park
Mr. Holzman, who was licensed in 1989, was suspended for one year and until he makes certain restitution and successfully completes the ARDC Professionalism Seminar. He converted a client’s bond money, later fabricated a fee agreement to support his use of the bond money, and made misrepresentations to the ARDC about that document. The suspension is effective on April 9, 2019.
Nicholas Constantine Kefalos, Chicago
Mr. Kefalos, who was licensed in 1999, was suspended for six months and until further order of the Court. He failed to diligently represent three clients, did not communicate with those clients, failed to refund a total of $2,550 in unearned fees, made a false statement to one of his clients, and did not cooperate with the ARDC investigation into his conduct.
Parker Frank McMahan, Jr., West Dundee
Mr. McMahan, who was licensed in 1968, was suspended for eighteen months. He converted $31,757.80 in client funds during his representation of two different consumer debt collection companies. He also failed to prepare and maintain required client trust account records. The suspension is effective on April 9, 2019.
William Lloyd Meyers, Chicago
Mr. Meyers, who was licensed in 1970, was suspended for two years and until further order of the Court. Between 2011 and 2015 he misappropriated more than $100,000 he was holding for nine clients and provided checks to two of those clients that were returned for insufficient funds. He also told the ARDC that he was making payments to certain lienholders, and then failed to update that information after he determined not to make those payments.
Frederick Lewis Schwartz, Chicago
Mr. Schwartz, who was licensed in 1990, was suspended for five months. While representing an employer, and without obtaining authority from that employer to do so, Mr. Schwartz signed a memorandum of agreement on the employer’s behalf which, once ratified by union members, would bind the employer to a collective bargaining contract. When his conduct was discovered, he repeatedly and falsely claimed he had not signed the agreement and that union representatives had forged his signature. The suspension is effective on April 9, 2019.
Steven Charles Scudder, Centerville, Ohio
Mr. Scudder, who was licensed in Illinois in 1981, was suspended for three years and until further order of the Court, nunc pro tunc to June 18, 2018. He was convicted of wire fraud and aiding and abetting in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio after he falsely held himself out to be the trustee of a land trust that would be used to secure investments.
Dennis James Stolfo, Park Ridge
Mr. Stolfo, who was licensed in 1972, was suspended for six months and until he completes the ARDC Professionalism Seminar and pays over $205,000 in sanctions imposed against him by various state and federal courts. For over a decade, he repeatedly asserted arguments that had been rejected by the courts in litigation arising from a defamation claim he had filed for a client in 2004. The suspension is effective on April 9, 2019.
Adam J. Wiensch, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Mr. Wiensch was licensed in Wisconsin in 1991 and in Illinois in 1993. He was suspended for two years by the Wisconsin Supreme Court for drafting, altering, and misdating estate documents, by adding false signatures and dates to the documents, and later submitting those false documents to the Internal Revenue Service on behalf of his clients. The Illinois Supreme Court imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him for two years. The suspension is effective on April 9, 2019.
John Gregory Hoeschler
Mr. Hoeschler, who was licensed in Illinois in 1967 and in Minnesota in 1968, was publicly reprimanded in Minnesota. He filed and settled property tax appeals without the permission of he property owners. He also made factually inaccurate statements to a tax court. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and reprimanded him.