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Illinois Supreme Court Disbars Three, Suspends Five, Censures Two in Latest Disciplinary Filing

The Illinois Supreme Court announced the filing of lawyer disciplinary orders on Jan. 12, 2018. Sanctions were imposed because the lawyers engaged in professional misconduct by violating state ethics law.

DISBARRED

  • Mary Katherine Burgess, Oak Brook

Ms. Burgess, who was licensed in 1993, was disbarred on consent. She misappropriated $32,849.34 in settlement funds that she was holding in her trust account pending distribution to the heirs of an estate. She also falsely advised the estate's prior attorney that she continued to hold the funds in her account.

  • Rajesh Kanuru, Chicago

Mr. Kanuru, who was licensed in 2005, was disbarred on consent. He misappropriated at least $700,000 belonging to multiple clients. Mr. Kanuru also falsely informed an attorney with whom he shared office space that he had paid her office rent on her behalf, and he accepted "reimbursement" from her in the amount of $5,400. In reality, he never paid her rent.

  • Attorney Number 6247462, Chicago

Mr. Presser, who was licensed in 1999, was disbarred on consent. He misappropriated at least $132,000 in client and law firm funds from a real estate closing.

SUSPENDED

  • William Bazianos, Chicago

Mr. Bazianos, who was licensed in 1992, was suspended for six months. He converted $6,935 of $7,000 he had agreed to hold in escrow in connection with a clients' real estate transaction. The suspension is effective on February 2, 2018.

  • Marcia Lynn Cohen, Chicago

Ms. Cohen, who was licensed in 1978, was suspended for thirty days. During a four-year period when she had not registered to practice law and was thus removed from the Master Roll, she represented the City of Berwyn in approximately 100 different municipal ordinance proceedings before a hearing officer. The suspension is effective on February 2, 2018.

  • Jess Evan Forrest, Chicago

Mr. Forrest, who was licensed in 1964, was suspended for one year and until further order of the Court. Over a twenty-month period, he misappropriated $25,922 that he had been holding in escrow in connection with various real estate transactions.

  • Syed Mansoor Khan, Schaumburg

Mr. Khan, who was licensed in 2008, was suspended for six months and until further order of the Court. He neglected two client matters, failed to communicate with those clients, did not refund $2,738 in unearned fees, made misrepresentations to a client, misappropriated $1,839 in client funds, and failed to cooperate in a disciplinary investigation.

  • Steven Huntley Mora, Chicago

Mr. Mora, who was licensed in 1968, was censured. While representing a client in a legal malpractice matter, he sought to sell his car and purchase a new one from a used car dealership. He entered into a business transaction with his client whereby Mr. Mora sold the old car to the client for its trade-in value, and the client agreed to co-sign Mr. Mora's loan application for the new car so that he could obtain more favorable financing terms using the client's better credit rating. Mr. Mora purchased the new vehicle with his client registered as a co-owner, and subsequently incurred various traffic tickets and late payments that led to an administrative judgment being entered against the client.

CENSURED

  • Manuel Antonio Cardenas, Chicago

Mr. Cardenas, who was licensed in 1995, was censured. He was convicted in the Circuit Court of Cook County of reckless conduct relating to an incident in which he removed his leather belt and used it to hit his then 14-year old daughter.

  • Stanley E. Niew, Oak Brook

Mr. Niew, who was licensed in 1972, was censured. His wife, Kathleen Niew, an Illinois lawyer, was disbarred in 2013 for misappropriating $2.34 million belonging to a client who she represented in a real estate matter. After her disbarment, Mr. Niew failed to ensure that his wife no longer maintained a presence in their law office and he also failed to supervise his associate, to prevent that associate from aiding Ms. Niew in the unauthorized practice of law.

Posted on January 16, 2018 by Sara Anderson
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