Stealing from clients. Committing crimes. Lying. Acting like an asshole. Falsifying documents. There are a lot of reasons attorneys lose their license in Illinois. Here are 23 of them in the last year who have been disbarred or suspended for at least a year. All of the information comes from the ARDC which is the licensing and disciplining organization for Illinois lawyers. I highly recommend you check an attorney’s status there before hiring them.
Richard Gannett Mr. Gannett was licensed to practice in Illinois in 1981 and in Massachusetts in 1982. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts disbarred him for intentionally converting over $42,000 that he was supposed to be holding in connection with an insurance dispute. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
Jeffrey McIntyre Mr. McIntyre, who was licensed in 1994, was suspended for 18 months and until further order of the Court. His misconduct arose from his December 2017 guilty plea to a charge of battery after he punched an employee of a tavern and his October 2018 guilty plea to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, his third conviction for driving while intoxicated.
Andrew Babcock Mr. Babcock, who was licensed in 1992, was disbarred on consent. In September 2021, a Michigan jury found him guilty of three counts of criminal sexual conduct.
Philip Koenig Mr. Koenig, who was licensed in 1975, was suspended for one year for intentionally converting $70,076 in funds that were owed to his client after the settlement of a lawsuit over the construction of a will.
Brian Sides Mr. Sides, who was licensed in 2002, was suspended for one year and until further order of the Court. He made false or reckless statements about the integrity of a federal bankruptcy judge in nine motions filed in the bankruptcy or federal district court.
Stephen Newport Mr. Newport was licensed to practice in Illinois in 1990 and in Iowa in 1978. The Supreme Court of Iowa suspended him with no possibility of reinstatement for one year for sexually harassing two clients. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him for one year and until he is reinstated to the practice of law in Iowa.
Robert Roth Mr. Roth, who was licensed in 1979, was disbarred on consent. His misconduct arose from his June 2021 conviction in Lake County for aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, causing the death of another. Following his conviction, Mr. Roth was sentenced to five years in prison.
Felipe Gomez Mr. Gomez, who was licensed in 1988, was suspended for three years and until further order of the Court. In three separate legal matters, he repeatedly sent threatening and harassing email messages to other attorneys.
Jessica O’Brien Ms. O’Brien, who was licensed in 1998, was disbarred. She has been suspended on an interim basis since April 26, 2018, after a federal jury in Chicago found her guilty of the crimes of mail fraud and bank fraud based on her involvement in a scheme to obtain bank loans by making false statements about her income and liabilities.
Carlo Palladinetti Mr. Palladinetti, who was licensed in 1985, was disbarred. He was found guilty of bank fraud after he participated in a multi-year scheme that provided fraudulent information to lenders in order to qualify buyers for mortgage loans to purchase condominium units owned by other participants in the scheme.
Dale Halling Mr. Halling was licensed to practice in Illinois in 1993 and in Colorado in 1995. The Supreme Court of Colorado disbarred him for not diligently representing three clients in patent matters, failing to keep clients informed about the status of their matters, converting client funds in two of the matters, and abandoning two of the clients. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
Valerie Franklin Ms. Franklin, who was licensed in 1994, was disbarred for intentionally converting more than $122,000 owed to ten separate clients in workers’ compensation and other matters.
James Leone Mr. Leone was licensed to practice in Illinois in 1981 and in Florida in 1985. In December 2020, the Supreme Court of Florida granted Mr. Leone’s petition for disciplinary revocation of his law license, with leave to seek readmission after five years. He had misrepresented facts to a third person in connection with litigation over a piece of property on which Mr. Leone and his wife had paid past-due property taxes. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him until he is reinstated to the practice of law in Florida.
Michael Ries Mr. Ries, who licensed in 1998, was suspended from the practice of law for two years and until he is reinstated to the practice of law before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He engaged in a number of criminal acts involving incidents of domestic violence and driving while over the legal limit for alcohol, and he mishandled three patent applications.
Beau White Mr. White was licensed in Illinois in 1998 and in Indiana in 1999. The Indiana Supreme Court suspended him for three years, without automatic reinstatement, for failing to act with diligence in a criminal matter and a paternity case, failing to properly communicate with clients, and not cooperating in his own disciplinary proceedings. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him for three years and until he is reinstated in Indiana
Dean O’Connor Mr. O’Connor was licensed in Illinois in 1980 and in Arizona in 1988. An Arizona disciplinary hearing panel disbarred him for engaging in a pattern of misconduct in three separate matters. In one matter, he converted $40,000 in funds belonging to a bankruptcy estate and disbursed over $230,000 in insurance proceeds to his client without disclosing the receipt or disbursement of those proceeds to the court. In another matter, he did not adequately communicate with his client and failed to research issues involved in his client’s matter. In a third matter, he advanced non-meritorious claims and contentions, made false representations in a court filing, and made false statements to the Arizona State Bar during its investigation into his conduct. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
Craig Sherman Mr. Sherman was licensed in Illinois in 1967 and in Florida in 1975. The Supreme Court of Florida permanently revoked his admission to the Florida Bar after he filed a petition for disciplinary revocation without leave to apply for readmission, which stated that he was the subject of a disciplinary grievance alleging, in part, misuse of funds totaling $4,175,000. Mr. Sherman agreed that there was factual predicate for disciplinary action against him. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
John Tresslar Mr. Tresslar was licensed in Missouri in 1985 and in Illinois in 1986. The Supreme Court of Missouri disbarred him for failing to diligently represent a client, failing to maintain complete records for his trust account, misappropriating more than $68,000 belonging to his clients, and making misrepresentations to a tribunal. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and disbarred him.
Ryan Kosztya Mr. Kosztya, who was licensed in 2002, was suspended for two years and until he completes the ARDC Professionalism Seminar, followed by a one-year term of probation with conditions. Mr. Kosztya dishonestly misappropriated over $58,000 from clients in two matters and then made false statements to the clients and a court to hide his use of the funds.
Jaroslaw Szymanski Mr. Szymanski, who was licensed in 2013, was suspended from the practice of law for two years and until further order of the Court. In 2016, Mr. Szymanski was arrested and charged with aggravated domestic battery and domestic battery arising from an incident in which he pushed his spouse against a wall and placed his hands around her throat, causing a partial obstruction of her breathing. Mr. Szymanski later pled guilty to misdemeanor battery in connection with that incident. In 2018, Mr. Szymanski again was arrested for an incident in which he punched his spouse in the arm and attempted to punch her in the stomach, for which he was charged with two counts of resisting a peace officer and two counts of domestic battery. Those charges were later dismissed.
Sheldon Banks Mr. Banks, who was licensed in 1965, was suspended for two years and until further order of the Court and was required to demonstrate that he has paid $7,000 in restitution, plus interest, to his former client’s sister prior to petitioning for reinstatement. While representing the client in a criminal matter, he did not respond to the client’s family’s requests for information about the case, collected an unreasonable fee of $9,000 when he made no court appearances and filed no pleadings or briefs, and returned only $2,000 of the fee. He also did not respond to an ARDC subpoena.
Lori Kieffer Ms. Kieffer was licensed in Illinois in 2001 and in Iowa in 2002. The Supreme Court of Iowa suspended her with no possibility for reinstatement for one year. While representing a client in a criminal matter, she falsified her client’s signature on a written arraignment form and then made misrepresentations to the court about what she had done. The Supreme Court of Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended her for one year and until further order of the Court.
K.O. Johnson Mr. Johnson, who was licensed in 1996, was disbarred on consent. His misconduct arose from his August 2021 convictions of four counts of bankruptcy fraud and three counts of concealment of assets, for which he was sentenced to two years in prison.