BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD
OF THE
ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION
AND
DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION

In the Matter of:

ROBERT EUGENE BENNETT,

Attorney-Respondent, 

No. 172219.

 

Commission No.   07 CH 99

FILED -  August 31, 2007

COMPLAINT

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Meriel Coleman, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 753(b), complains of Respondent, Robert Eugene Bennett, who was licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois on May 18, 1976, and alleges that Respondent has engaged in the following conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute:

Allegations Applicable to All Counts

1. At all times alleged in this complaint, Supreme Court Rule 756(a) required that, on or before the first day of January each year, every attorney admitted to practice law in Illinois register and pay an annual registration fee, if required, to the Commission.

2. At all times alleged in this complaint, Supreme Court Rule 756(f) required the Administrator to, on February 1 of each year, remove from the Master Roll of Attorneys authorized to practice law in Illinois the name of any attorney who had not registered for that year as required by Supreme Court Rule 756(a).

COUNT I
(Failure to promptly register and unauthorized practice of law in 2005)

3. Pursuant to Rule 756, Respondent was required to register on or before January 1, 2005. Under the schedule set forth in Rule 756, Respondent was required to pay a fee of $239, as Respondent had been admitted for more than three years and was not entitled to any fee exemption.

4. As of February 1, 2005, Respondent had not registered or paid the annual fee due on January 1, 2005. On February 2, 2005, the Administrator removed Respondent's name from the Master Roll of Attorneys authorized to practice law in Illinois.

5. After February 2, 2005, Respondent was not authorized to practice law in Illinois.

6. On July 26, 2005, Respondent filed on behalf Shavonna Triplett ("Triplett") a complaint against Belisha Royster and Olumide Runsewe in the Circuit Court of Cook County Municipal Department. The matter was assigned case number 05 M1 717126 by the clerk of the court.

7. On and after July 26, 2005, Respondent engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by holding himself out as attorney Triplett.

8. On August 25, 2005, Respondent registered and paid the required fees and penalties was restored to the Master Roll of Attorneys authorized to practice law in Illinois.

9. By reason of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. failure to timely register and pay an annual registration fee to the ARDC on or before the first day of January 2005, in violation of Supreme Court Rule 756(a);

  2. practicing law in a jurisdiction where doing so violates the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, in violation of Rule 5.5(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  3. engaging in conduct that tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute, in violation of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 770.

COUNT II
(Failure to promptly register and unauthorized practice of law in 2006)

3. Pursuant to Rule 756, Respondent was required to register on or before January 1, 2006. Under the schedule set forth in Rule 756, Respondent was required to pay a fee of $239, as Respondent had been admitted for more than three years and was not entitled to any fee exemption.

4. As of February 1, 2006, Respondent had not registered or paid the annual fee due on January 1, 2006. On February 6, 2006, the Administrator removed Respondent's name from the Master Roll of Attorneys authorized to practice law in Illinois.

5. After February 6, 2006, Respondent was not authorized to practice law in Illinois.

6. On February 7, 2006, Deutsche Bank National Trust Company filed a complaint against Nathaniel Bowden ("Bowden") in the Circuit Court of Cook County seeking to foreclose on Bowden's mortgage. The matter was assigned case number 06 CH 02509 by the clerk of the court.

7. On March 7, 2006, Respondent filed his appearance on behalf of Bowden in case number 06 CH 02509.

8. On March 28, 2006, Respondent filed his appearance on behalf of Paul Parlich ("Parlich") in Parlich's then pending petition filed Circuit Court of Cook County to dissolve his marriage to Annemarie Parlich in case number 04 D 10423 and thereby purported to be attorney for Paul Parlich in that matter. The matter was previously docketed as In re Marriage of Parlich and was assigned case number 04 D 10423 by the clerk of the court

9. On and after March 7, 2006, Respondent engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by holding himself out as attorney Bowden and Parlich.

10. On September 22, 2005, Respondent filed on behalf Pamela Thomas a/k/a Pamela Sanford ("Thomas") a complaint against the City of Chicago in the Circuit Court of Cook County Municipal Department. The matter was assigned case number 06 M1 174657 by the clerk of the court.

11. On September 22, 2005, Respondent engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by holding himself out as attorney for Thomas.

12. On September 26, 2006, Respondent registered and paid the required fee and penalties and was restored to the Master Roll of Attorneys authorized to practice law in Illinois.

13. By reason of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. failure to timely register and pay an annual registration fee to the ARDC on or before the first day of January 2006, in violation of Supreme Court Rule 756(a);

  2. practicing law in a jurisdiction where doing so violates the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, in violation of Rule 5.5(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  3. engaging in conduct that tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute, in violation of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 770.

WHEREFORE, the Administrator requests that this matter be assigned to a panel of the Hearing Board, that a hearing be held, and that the panel make findings of fact, conclusions of fact and law, and a recommendation for such discipline as is warranted.

Meriel Coleman
Counsel for the Administrator
One Prudential Plaza
130 East Randolph Drive, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60601-6219
Telephone: (312) 565-2600 
Counsel for Administrator
Respectfully submitted,

Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission

By:   Meriel Coleman