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

In the Matter of:

MARC BRADLEY JACOBS,
No.  6277706.

JOSHUA BLUM,
No. 6274594.

Attorney-Respondents.

 

Commission No.  08 CH 21


Commission No. 08 CH 22

FILED -  March 20, 2008

COMPLAINT

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney Tracy L. Kepler, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 753(b) complains of Respondent Marc Bradley Jacobs, who was licensed to practice law in Illinois on November 7, 2002, and Respondent Joshua Blum, who was licensed to practice law in Illinois on November 8, 2001, and alleges that Respondents have 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 common to all counts

1. At all times alleged in this complaint, Advantage Mortgage Consulting, Inc. ("Advantage"), was an Illinois corporation, owned by Robert Enright and operated primarily by Jay Gonzalez ("Gonzalez") and Christopher Bidigare ("Bidigare"). Advantage was in the business of offering mortgage brokerage services, including refinancing, and mortgage foreclosure services.

2. At all times alleged in this complaint, Platinum Investment Group, LLC ("Platinum"), was an Illinois limited liability company, owned and operated by Gonzalez and Bidigare. Platinum was in the business of offering mortgage foreclosure services and real estate investments.

3. When Advantage was unable to place or refinance a mortgage for a homeowner who was a poor credit risk, but had substantial equity in the home, Advantage referred the homeowner to Platinum. Platinum offered various plans whereby an investor, identified by Platinum, purchased the homeowner's property by obtaining a mortgage, placed by Advantage. The investor paid off the homeowner's mortgage and any outstanding real estate taxes and water bills. The homeowner executed a warranty deed transferring the property to the investor and a contract entitled "Articles of Agreement for Deed." Under the terms of this contract, the homeowner made monthly rent payments to Platinum, and after a period of making reliable payments, the homeowner's credit was sufficiently restored so that Advantage could place a loan and allow the homeowner to pay off the contract and regain title to the home.

4. At all times alleged in this complaint, Josephus and Demetrius Turner ("the Turners") and Frederick Bigidare ("Frederick") were investors associated with Advantage and Platinum. Frederick is Bigidare's father. Advantage and Platinum had an ongoing referral relationship with the Turners and Frederick in that they obtained mortgages, secured by Advantage, to purchase the properties owned by the distressed homeowners. The Turners and Frederick had a financial interest in the continuation of the referral relationship with Advantage and Platinum and received a payment for each transaction completed as well as having their mortgage paid by Platinum and Advantage on their behalf.

5. In or about 2001, Respondent Marc Bradley Jacobs ("Respondent Jacobs"), Bidigare and Gonzalez worked together at Chicago Mortgage Acceptance. At that time, Respondent Jacobs was employed as a loan officer while attending law school.

6. At some point between 2001 and November 7, 2002, Bidigare and Gonzalez were asked to manage a new Advantage and Platinum office. At that time, Bidigare and Gonzalez invited and Respondent Jacobs agreed to open a law practice within the offices of Advantage and Platinum. As part of this arrangement, once Platinum obtained a client, the file was turned over to Respondent Jacobs, and his newly created law practice, Chicago Law Offices, LLC ("the firm"), to represent Platinum, Advantage and the parties to Platinum's real estate transaction, including clearing and ordering title, preparation of the requisite closing documents, representing parties in court on foreclosure matters and representing the parties at closing. In addition, Respondent Jacobs represented Advantage and Platinum in various employment issues, handled their general corporate legal issues and drafted responses on their behalf to complaints filed before the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, formerly known as the Office of Banks and Real Estate. Respondent Jacobs had a financial interest in the continuation of the relationship with Advantage and Platinum in that 90-95% of the firm's business was generated from this relationship and the firm received attorney's and title fees for each transaction completed.

7. Between 2002 and February 2007, Respondent Jacobs was the sole owner and manager of the firm. During this same period of time, the firm employed Sueellen L. Carpenter ("Carpenter"), as a paralegal, who acted at the direction of Respondent Jacobs, performing a variety of services including but not limited to preparation of documents required for real estate closings, clearing of title and attending closings on behalf of Respondent Jacobs. At no time was Carpenter an attorney licensed to practice law in Illinois.

8. At all times alleged in this complaint, Respondent Jacobs was responsible for the supervision of Carpenter as a result of the fact that Carpenter was performing work for Respondent Jacobs in the firm.

9. In addition to being a salaried employee of the firm, Carpenter was a licensed real estate broker in the state of Illinois doing business as First Chicago Real Estate Group, LLC ("First Chicago"). Carpenter, through First Chicago, had an ongoing referral relationship with Advantage and Platinum in that Advantage and Platinum referred the investors and homeowners to Carpenter for her assistance in, inter alia, preparing real estate contracts for the purchase and sale of the properties. Carpenter had a financial interest in the continuation of the referral relationship with Advantage and Platinum in that for each transaction completed she received a commission.

10. At all times alleged in this complaint, the firm and First Chicago shared office space with Advantage and Platinum.

11. Between early 2004 and January 2006, the firm employed Respondent Joshua Blum ("Respondent Blum") as an independent contractor. In January 2006, Respondent Blum became a salaried attorney associate with the firm. Respondent Blum is also Respondent Jacobs' brother-in-law.

COUNT I
(Conflict of Interest - Coleamer Hodges)

12. One week prior to her death on September 30, 2004, Odessa Gladney ("Gladney") conveyed the real property located at 9952 South Princeton in Chicago, Illinois ("the property") into a land trust at LaSalle National Bank, with her daughter, Coleamer Hodges ("Hodges"), as Trustee and sole beneficiary. Hodges, a 40-year-old, legally blind woman, grew up in the property and resided there with her 14-year-old daughter. At the time of Gladney's death, there was an outstanding mortgage on the property in the amount of approximately $85,000, and equity of approximately $70,000.

13. For a few months following Gladney's death, Hodges, who had monthly income of approximately $2,200 a month from disability benefits and providing day care services in the property, continued to make the monthly mortgage payment of $746. On or about February 10, 2005, Hodges heard a television commercial for Platinum offering to help people in need of financial assistance with their mortgages. At that time, Hodges was interested in lowering her monthly mortgage payment on the property. She called Advantage and was connected to Carpenter, who identified herself as an attorney.

14. During the conversation referred to in paragraph 13 above, Hodges explained her financial situation and described the property, and Carpenter told Hodges that Platinum would be able to assist her but that she needed to come to Carpenter's office. Hodges explained that she was blind and Carpenter offered to have Aaron Chambers ("Chambers"), a Platinum employee, pick her up at the property.

15. On or about February 14, 2005, Chambers picked up Hodges, and two minor children in her care, and transported them to the office suite shared by the firm, First Chicago, Advantage and Platinum at 820 W. Jackson, 2nd Floor in Chicago, Illinois, where Hodges met with Carpenter. At that time, Carpenter told Hodges that Platinum could keep her monthly payment the same, and she would receive a check for using Platinum's services if Hodges agreed to "turn over" the property for one year. Based on Carpenter's representations, Hodges agreed to use Platinum's services. Pursuant to the arrangement between Respondent Jacobs and Platinum as set forth in paragraph 6 above, the firm commenced its representation of the parties to the transaction.

16. At that same meeting on or about February 14, 2005, Carpenter presented Hodges with documents to sign and requested that Hodges sign the documents without Carpenter reading or explaining to Hodges the terms of each document.

17. In addition to Hodges and Carpenter, also present during the meeting that occurred on or about February 14, 2005 were David Chacon ("Chacon"), a loan originator and employee of Advantage, Illona Zelazowska, an employee of Advantage, and one of the two children that Hodges had brought with her.

18. On or about February 14, 2005, Hodges executed an Illinois Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney for Property ("POA"). The POA was prepared by Respondent Jacobs and authorized Carpenter to act on behalf of Hodges in any and all of the following transactions: "real estate, financial institution, stock and bond, tangible personal property, safe deposit box, insurance and annuity, retirement plan, social security, employment and military service benefits, tax matters, claims and litigation, commodity and option, business operation, borrowing, estate and all other property powers." The POA did not include effective or termination dates.

19. The POA reflected that Hodges signature was witnessed by Iwona Burnat ("Burnat"), an employee of Advantage. In her witness acknowledgement on the POA, Burnat certified that Hodges was "known to me to be the same person whose name is subscribed as principal to the foregoing power of attorney, appeared before me and the notary public and acknowledged signing and delivering the instrument as the free and voluntary act of the principal, for the uses and purposes therein set forth. I believe him or her to be of sound mind or memory." Burnat signed and dated the POA.

20. At no time did Burnat meet or speak to Hodges nor did she witness Hodges' execution of the POA.

21. On or about February 14, 2005, Respondent Blum notarized the signature of Hodges on the POA. In his notary acknowledgement, Respondent Blum certified that Hodges was "known to me to be the same person whose name is subscribed as principal to the foregoing power of attorney, appeared before me and the additional witness in person and acknowledged signing and delivering the instrument as the free and voluntary act of the principal, for the uses and purposes therein set forth (and certified to the correctness of the signature(s) of the agent(s))." Respondent Blum signed, dated and affixed his notary stamp to the POA.

22. At or about that same time, Respondent Blum notarized the signature of Burnat as witness on the POA. In his notary acknowledgement, Respondent certified that Burnat "known to me to be the same person whose name is subscribed as witness to the foregoing power of attorney, appeared before me in person this 14th day of February, 2005." Respondent Blum signed and affixed his notary stamp to the POA.

23. At all times alleged in this complaint, the Illinois Notary Act, 5 ILCS sec. 312/6-102, required that notary publics witness the signature being notarized or verify that the signature on the document is that of the person whose signature is being notarized. 5 ILCS sec. 312/7-105 provided that a notary who willfully violates the act is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, and that a notary who recklessly or negligently violates the act is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

24. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Blum observe Hodges or Burnat sign the POA. Respondent Blum's statements in his notary acknowledgements attached to the POA, that Hodges and Burnat appeared before him to sign the POA, were false, in that neither Hodges nor Burnat ever appeared before him to sign the POA.

25. By notarizing Hodges' and Burnat's signature on the POA without witnessing them sign the POA, and making no attempt to determine whether they had actually signed the POA, Respondent Blum engaged in criminal conduct in violation of 5 ILCS sec. 312/6-102 and 5 ILCS sec. 312/7-105.

26. At the February 14, 2005 meeting, Carpenter also requested that Hodges sign the following documents:

(a) a "Joint Venture Agreement" ("the JVA") which provided that Hodges would sell the property to Platinum, Platinum would distribute the proceeds from the sale to pay the outstanding mortgage, Hodges would rent the property from Platinum, be subject to immediate eviction should she be late on her monthly payment and be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep on the property. Respondent Jacobs drafted the JVA and the firm's name was on the top of the document. Respondent Jacobs executed the JVA on behalf of Platinum;

(b) a blank "Articles of Agreement for Deed" ("the articles"), drafted by Respondent Jacobs, which was later filled in outside the presence of Hodges and provided for, inter alia, the following:

3. (c) The balance of the purchase price, to wit: $160,000.00 to be paid in equal monthly installments of $1,250 each, commencing on the 1st day of April, 2005, and on the 1st day of each month thereafter until the purchase price is paid in full ("Installment Payments");

3. (d) The final payment of the purchase price and all accrued but unpaid interest and other charges as hereinafter provided, if not sooner paid shall be due on the 1st day of April, 2006;

(c)  a blank affidavit of title;

(d)  a blank bill of sale;

(e)  two "authorization to release information" forms allowing Advantage and the firm authority to check Hodges financial information and request pay off quotes on her outstanding mortgage;

(f)  a blank direction to disburse proceeds from the sale of the property which was later filled in outside the presence of Hodges to reflect the direction of payments from the purchaser's closing costs, not to exceed $9,600, and payments to Platinum, First Chicago, and all items on the settlement statement with the balance of the proceeds to the seller;

(g)  a document titled "Important Disclosure - This is not a Loan" stating that by signing the document, Hodges acknowledged that the financial transaction between her and Platinum did not include a loan of any type;

(h)  a blank residential real estate contract, which was later filled in outside the presence of Hodges to reflect a purchase price for the property of $160,000, listing the Turners as the buyers and the land trust listed as the seller. The contract was contingent on the seller securing a mortgage commitment of $144,000 on or before March 11, 2005. Carpenter listed Respondent Jacobs as the seller's attorney, Respondent Blum as the buyer's attorney, First Chicago as the selling and listing office and Carpenter as selling and the listing agent. The contract reflected that the Turners made the offer to Hodges on February 14, 2005, and Hodges accepted the offer on February 17, 2005;

(i)  a blank addendum to the real estate contract, which was later filled in outside the presence of Hodges to reflect that the seller would contribute $9,600 or 6% of the purchase price as and for buyers' costs associated with the purchase of the property. The addendum reflected that the Turners and Hodges signed the document on February 17, 2005;

(j)  a residential real property disclosure statement; and,

(k)  various trust documents including an assignment of beneficial interest, direction to convey, letter of direction, ratification of trust agreement and an amendment to the trust.

27. Hodges signed all the documents referenced in paragraph 26 above.

28. Respondent Jacobs knew or should have known that Carpenter had met with Hodges and requested that Hodges sign the documents referenced in paragraph 26 above.

29. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Jacobs make reasonable efforts to ensure that Carpenter's conduct conformed with Respondent Jacobs' professional obligations with regard to the documents referenced in paragraph 26 above.

30. On or about February 15, 2005, and shortly thereafter, Respondent Jacobs, or someone acting on his direction, began to accumulate and process the documents required for the closing. Respondent Jacobs, or someone acting on his behalf, ordered title policies and examined title with respect to the property, determined the taxes owed, ordered the water certification, and requested payoff letters from Hodges' mortgage provider, Mortgage Lenders Network, USA ("Mortgage Lenders").

31. On or about February 15, 2005, Respondent Jacobs, or someone acting on his direction, forwarded an application for title insurance to Premier Title Sale & Service, LLC on behalf of Hodges. On the application, Respondent Jacobs was listed as Hodges' attorney.

32. On or about February 21, 2005, Carpenter forwarded a letter to Mortgage Lenders requesting a payoff amount on Hodges' mortgage. The letter was on the firm's letterhead. On or about that same day, the payoff department of Mortgage Lenders forwarded to Carpenter its payoff letter in the amount of $90,446.56.

33. On or about March 9, 2005, Respondent Jacobs, or someone acting on his direction, drafted an invoice on the firm's letterhead, directed to the Turners at the property's address and reflecting an amount due for title services rendered on their behalf in the amount of $395.

34. On or about March 9, 2005, Respondent Jacobs, or someone acting on his direction, drafted an invoice in the amount of $1,750 for legal services provided to the Turners related to the property. Respondent Blum's name and home address were listed on the invoice. The invoice was directed to the Turners at their home address in Aurora, Illinois.

35. At some point between February 10, 2005 and March 11, 2005, Chacon prepared and submitted a uniform residential loan application to First Franklin requesting financing for the purchase of the property on behalf of the Turners. Chacon requested a loan amount of $144,000.

36. On or about March 11, 2005, the closing on the property took place. The property was conveyed to the Turners by Trustee's deed for a purchase price of $160,000. Carpenter signed all of the closing documents on Hodges' behalf pursuant to the POA. To finance the purchase of the property, the Turners obtained a loan through Advantage and from First Franklin in the amount of $144,000 and received a closing cost credit of $9,472.

37. Pursuant to the settlement statement, Hodges received $119.70 as her proceeds from the closing and the following persons/entities, inter alia, received the following payments:

Payee

Amount

Purpose

First Chicago

$9,600

Commission

Platinum

$46,851.53

Payoff of 2nd mortgage

Advantage

$3,745

Loan origination and other fees

Chicago Law Offices

$395

Attorney's fees

Respondent Blum

$1,750

Attorney's fees

Mortgage Lenders

$90,717.05

Payoff of 1st Mortgage

38. At no time alleged in this complaint did Hodges obtain or payoff a second mortgage on the property from Platinum.

39. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Blum provide any legal services to the Turners or Hodges in the purchase and sale of the property. At no time did Respondent Blum authorize or direct Carpenter to list his name as the attorney for the Turners on any document related to the purchase and sale of the property.

40. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Blum receive any portion of the proceeds from the attorney's fee check in the amount of $1,750 made payable to him.

41. In April 2005, an agent on behalf of Platinum contacted Hodges and told her that she had to pay $1,250 a month in rent to Platinum. Due to her financial circumstances, Hodges could not pay this amount.

42. On October 27, 2005, Respondent Jacobs sent a "Thirty Day Notice" to Hodges at the property. The notice stated that Hodges owed $8,750 to Platinum, on behalf of the Turners, representing seven monthly rent payments of $1,250. The notice further stated that should Hodges fail to pay the amount owed to the firm within 30 days, the articles on the property would be terminated. The notice was sent on the firm's letterhead, Respondent Jacobs drafted the notice and identified himself as "[a]ttorney for Seller, Platinum Investment Group LLC, on behalf of Josephus Turner and Demetrius Turner."

43. As a result of Respondent Jacobs undertaking the representation of Hodges, the Turners and Platinum, Respondent Jacobs owed a fiduciary duty to Hodges, the Turners and Platinum which required Respondent Jacobs to exercise the highest degree of honesty, loyalty, and good faith in his dealings with them.

44. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Jacobs disclose to Hodges that he also represented the Turners and Platinum in relation to the transaction, nor did Respondent Jacobs disclose to Hodges the implications of and risks involved in the common representation on the exercise of his independent professional judgment.

45. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Jacobs tell Hodges that his own business or personal interest in the relationship with Advantage and Platinum might materially affect his representation of Hodges in the transaction or that she should consult with an independent attorney regarding the transaction.

46. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Jacobs meet with or communicate privately with Hodges regarding any issues related to the sale of her property to the Turners, including but not limited to the terms of the POA, the terms of the JVA, the articles, the terms of the sales contract or the settlement statement.

47. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Jacobs take any steps to ascertain if the actions he was taking on Hodges' behalf related to the sale of the property accurately reflected Hodges' desires or protected Hodges' legal interests.

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

  1. breach of fiduciary duty by failing to protect Hodges' interests and advancing his own self-interests above those of Hodges;

  2. failing to consult with clients as to the means by which the objectives of representation are to be pursued, in violation of Rule 1.2(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  3. failing to keep clients reasonably informed about the status of a matter in violation of Rule 1.4(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  4. failing to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit clients to make informed decisions about the representation in violation of Rule 1.4(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  5. representing a client where the representation of that client was materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client or by the lawyer's own interests in violation of Rule 1.7(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  6. representing multiple clients in a single matter without explaining the implications of the common representation and the advantages and risks involved, in violation of Rule 1.7(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  7. failure to supervise and make reasonable efforts to ensure that Carpenter's conduct was compatible with the professional obligations of Respondent in violation of Rule 5.3 (a) and (b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  8. ordering, or with knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifying the conduct involved in violation of Rule 5.3(c)(1) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  9. conduct involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  10. engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and

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

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

  1. committing a criminal act, violation of the Illinois Notary Act, 5 ILCS 312/6-102 and 5 ILCS 312/7-105, that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  2. conduct involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and

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

COUNT II
(Conflict of interest - Tangie Chaffin)

50. On or about July 28, 1998, Tangie Chaffin ("Chaffin") purchased the real property located at 9519 South Indiana in Chicago, Illinois ("the property").

51. In 2002, Chaffin refinanced the mortgage on the property with Ameriquest Mortgage Company ("Ameriquest"), obtaining a loan for $92,000 to help pay legal fees for a custody and child support dispute.

52. In or about 2004, Chaffin began experiencing financial difficulties when her child support payments were suspended. At that time, her mortgage payments were approximately $650 per month and she had approximately $76,000 in equity in the property. Chaffin started looking into refinancing the property. Chaffin spoke with Michael, her daughter's boyfriend, who told her he worked for Advantage and he could probably get his boss to help Chaffin out of her situation.

53. On March 17, 2004, attorneys on behalf of Ameriquest caused to be filed a complaint to foreclose mortgage against Chaffin on the property.

54. On or about May 10, 2004, an attorney on behalf of Chaffin caused to be filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Under the Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan, Chaffin was paying $430 per month to the bankruptcy trustee and $630 per month for her mortgage.

55. At some point between October 4, 2004 and November 4, 2004, Chaffin set up an appointment to meet with Carpenter and Chacon to discuss refinancing her mortgage through Advantage. At that meeting, after reviewing Chaffin's credit report, Chacon and Carpenter told Chaffin that due to her financial situation, Advantage could not refinance her mortgage. However, they advised Chaffin that Platinum could purchase the property for $92,000, and she would become a renter with the option to repurchase at the same price after she improved her credit score. Carpenter and Chacon told Chaffin that her rent would be no more than $1,100 a month, her mortgage and bankruptcy would be paid off and she would receive a check for $5,000 as a result of her participation in the deal. At no time did Carpenter and Chacon tell Chaffin that an investor would be purchasing her home. Based on Carpenter and Chacon's representations, Chaffin agreed to participate in the transaction with Platinum. Pursuant to the arrangement between Respondent Jacobs and Platinum as set forth in paragraph 6 above, the firm commenced its representation of the parties to the transaction.

56. At the meeting referenced in paragraph 55 above, Carpenter requested that Chaffin sign various blank documents. Carpenter explained that the documents were blank as she was unsure as to the various costs associated with the transaction at that point. One of the documents Chaffin signed was an Illinois Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney for Property ("POA"). The POA was prepared by Respondent Jacobs and authorized Carpenter to act on behalf of Chaffin in any and all of the following transactions: "real estate, financial institution, stock and bond, tangible personal property, safe deposit box, insurance and annuity, retirement plan, social security, employment and military service benefits, tax matters, claims and litigation, commodity and option, business operation, borrowing, estate and all other property powers." The POA reflected that Chaffin signed the POA on November 1, 2004, that it became effective on November 1, 2004 and terminated upon the death of Chaffin.

57. On or about November 1, 2004, Respondent Blum notarized the signature of Chaffin on the POA. In his notary acknowledgement, Respondent Blum certified that Chaffin was "known to me to be the same person whose name is subscribed as principal to the foregoing power of attorney, appeared before me and the additional witness in person and acknowledged signing and delivering the instrument as the free and voluntary act of the principal, for the uses and purposes therein set forth (and certified to the correctness of the signature(s) of the agent(s))." Respondent Blum signed, dated and affixed his notary stamp to the POA. No witness signed the POA at that time.

58. At or about that same time, Respondent Blum placed his signature and notary stamp on the blank section reserved for the witness' execution of the POA and certified that "known to me to be the same person whose name is subscribed as witness to the foregoing power of attorney, appeared before me in person this 1st day of November 2004."

59. At all times alleged in the complaint, the Illinois Notary Act, 5 ILCS sec. 312/6-102, required that notary publics witness the signature being notarized or verify that the signature on the document is that of the person whose signature is being notarized. 5 ILCS sec. 312/7-105 provided that a notary who willfully violates the act is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, and that a notary who recklessly or negligently violates the act is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

60. At no time alleged in this complaint had Respondent Blum observed Chaffin or any witness sign the POA. Respondent Blum's statements in his notary acknowledgements attached to the POA, that Chaffin and a witness appeared before him to sign the POA, were false, in that neither Chaffin or any witness ever appeared before him to sign the POA. By notarizing Hodges' signature and the unexecuted witness section on the POA without witnessing them sign the POA, and making no attempt to determine whether they had actually signed the POA, Respondent Blum engaged in criminal conduct in violation of 5 ILCS sec. 312/6-102 and 5 ILCS sec. 312/7-105.

61. At the meeting referenced in paragraph 55 above, Carpenter instructed Chaffin to sign the following additional documents:

(a) a "Joint Venture Agreement" ("the JVA") which provided that Chaffin would sell the property to Platinum, Platinum would distribute the proceeds from the sale to pay the outstanding mortgage, Chaffin would rent the property from Platinum, be subject to immediate eviction should she be late on her monthly payment and be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the property. Respondent Jacobs drafted the JVA and the firm's name was on the top of the document. Respondent Jacobs executed the JVA on behalf of Platinum;

(b) a blank "Articles of Agreement for Deed" ("the articles"), drafted by Respondent Jacobs, which was later filled in to provide for, inter alia, the following:

3. (c) The balance of the purchase price, to wit: $162,000.00 to be paid in equal monthly installments of $1,600 each, commencing on the 1st day of January, 2005, and on the 1st day of each month thereafter until the purchase price is paid in full ("Installment Payments");

3. (d) The final payment of the purchase price and all accrued but unpaid interest and other charges as hereinafter provided, if not sooner paid shall be due on the 1st day of January, 2006;

(c)  a blank affidavit of title;

(d)  a blank bill of sale;

(e)  a blank warranty deed;

(f)  two "authorization to release information" forms allowing Advantage and the firm authority to check Chaffin's financial information and request pay offs; and,

(g)  a blank direction to disburse proceeds from the sale of the property, which was later filled in to reflect the direction of payments of purchaser's closing costs, not to exceed $8,995, and payments to Platinum, First Chicago, all items on the settlement statement with the balance of the proceeds to the sellers.

62. Chaffin signed all the documents referenced in paragraph 61 above.

63. Respondent Jacobs knew or should have known that Carpenter had met with Chaffin and requested that Chaffin sign the documents referenced in paragraph 61 above.

64. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Jacobs make reasonable efforts to ensure that Carpenter's conduct conformed with Respondent Jacobs' professional obligations with regard to the documents referenced in paragraph 61 above.

65. At some point between October 4, 2004 and November 4, 2004, and shortly thereafter, Respondent Jacobs, or someone acting on his direction, began to accumulate and process the documents required for the closing. Respondent Jacobs, or someone acting on his behalf, ordered title policies and examined title with respect to the property, determined the taxes owed, ordered the water certification, and requested payoff letters from Chaffin's mortgage provider, Ameriquest.

66. On or about November 15, 2004, Respondent Jacobs, or someone acting on his direction, forwarded an application for title insurance to Premier Title Sales & Service, LLC on behalf of Chaffin. On the application, Respondent Jacobs was listed as Chaffin's attorney, the buyer/borrower listed as Josephus and Demetrius Turner ("the Turners"), the purchase price as $190,000 and the loan amount as $171,000.

67. On or prior to November 22, 2004, Respondent Jacobs, or someone acting on his direction, forwarded a letter to Ameriquest requesting a payoff amount on Chaffin's mortgage. On or about that same day, Ameriquest issued its payoff statement in the amount of $103,977.80 with an additional $20.60 in interest per day if funds were received after November 22, 2004.

68. On or about December 2, 2004, Carpenter filled out a "Full Payment Certificate Application" for the City of Chicago Department of Water Management for the property. On the form, Carpenter listed the buyer as Josephus Turner, Respondent Blum as the buyer's attorney, and the firm as the attorney for Chaffin.

69. At no time alleged in the complaint did Respondent Blum represent the Turners in their purchase of the property.

70. On December 14, 2004, the closing on the property took place. The property was sold to the Turners for $179,000 via a warranty deed financed by a loan from Advantage in the amount of $161,910. Carpenter signed all of the closing documents on behalf of Chaffin pursuant to the POA.

71. Pursuant to the settlement statement, Chaffin received $7,092 as her proceeds from the closing and the following persons/entities, inter alia, received the following payments:

Payee

Amount

Purpose

First Chicago

$8,000

Commission

Platinum

$47,535.02

"Investment Cost"

Advantage

$8,300

Loan origination and other fees

Chicago Law Offices

$1,500

Attorney's fees

Chicago Law Offices

$745

Title Search fees

Ameriquest

$104,742.82

Payoff of Mortgage

72. Shortly after the closing, Chacon contacted Chaffin and advised her that her monthly rental payments would be $1,600 a month, later reduced to $1,300 a month. In April 2005, after realizing that she could not make the rental payments, Chaffin contacted Chacon and informed him that she was going to move from the property.

73. In September 2005, Chaffin located another residence and began to move from the property. On or about October 9, 2005, as she was in the process of moving, she found that the locks to the property had been changed and her personal property that had been inside the property had been discarded in the alley. At that time, Chaffin contacted Respondent Jacobs who informed her that the locks were changed as she no longer owned the property.

74. As a result of Respondent Jacobs undertaking the representation of Chaffin, the Turners and Platinum, Respondent Jacobs owed a fiduciary duty to Chaffin, the Turners and Platinum which required Respondent Jacobs to exercise the highest degree of honesty, loyalty, and good faith in his dealings with them.

75. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Jacobs disclose to Chaffin that he also represented the Turners and Platinum in relation to the transaction, nor did Respondent Jacobs disclose to Chaffin the implications of and risks involved in the common representation on the exercise of his independent professional judgment.

76. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Jacobs tell Chaffin that his own business or personal interest in the relationship with Advantage and Platinum might materially affect his representation of Chaffin in the transaction or that she should consult with an independent attorney regarding the transaction.

77. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Jacobs meet with or communicate privately with Chaffin regarding any issues related to the sale of the property to the Turners, including but not limited to the terms of the POA, the terms of the JVA, the articles, the terms of the sales contract or the settlement statement.

78. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Jacobs take any steps to ascertain if the actions he and the firm were taking on Chaffin's behalf related to the sale of the property accurately reflected Chaffin's desires or protected Chaffin's legal interests.

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

  1. breach of fiduciary duty by failing to protect Chaffin's interests and advancing his own self-interests above those of Chaffin;

  2. failing to consult with clients as to the means by which the objectives of representation are to be pursued, in violation of Rule 1.2(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  3. failing to keep clients reasonably informed about the status of a matter in violation of Rule 1.4(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  4. failing to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit clients to make informed decisions about the representation in violation of Rule 1.4(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  5. representing a client where the representation of that client was materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client or by the lawyer's own interests in violation of Rule 1.7(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  6. representing multiple clients in a single matter without explaining the implications of the common representation and the advantages and risks involved, in violation of Rule 1.7(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  7. failure to supervise and make reasonable efforts to ensure that Carpenter's conduct was compatible with the professional obligations of Respondent in violation of Rule 5.3 (a) and (b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  8. ordering, or with knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifying the conduct involved in violation of Rule 5.3(c)(1) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  9. conduct involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional conduct;

  10. engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and

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

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

  1. committing a criminal act, violation of the Illinois Notary Act, 5 ILCS 312/6-102 and 5 ILCS 312/7-105, that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  2. conduct involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and

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

COUNT III
(Conflict of interest - Alejandro & Martha Balderas)

81. In December 1996, Alejandro and Martha Balderas ("the Balderas") purchased the real property located at 4550 W. 84th Place in Chicago, Illinois ("the property").

82. In January 2005, the Balderas began experiencing financial difficulties and could not pay their monthly mortgage payment of $1,026. At that time, the Balderas had approximately $77,000 in equity in the property. On April 8, 2005, their mortgage lender AMC Mortgage Services ("AMC") sent the Balderas a "Notice of Intention to Foreclose" letter informing them of their arrearage in their mortgage payments of $4,403.11. As a result of receiving this notice, the Balderas started looking for options to refinance.

83. At some point prior to April 27, 2005, the Balderas met with Martin Rivas ("Rivas"), an employee of Advantage, to discuss refinancing. Rivas told the Balderas that due to their poor credit history, Advantage could not assist them, and referred them to Platinum.

84. Shortly thereafter, the Balderas met with Chacon who stated that Platinum would refinance the property for a period of two years and give them cash back at the closing. Chacon explained that Platinum worked with investors to assist homeowners experiencing financial difficulties. Chacon ended the conversation by stating that he was flying out to Florida to meet with an interested investor and would get back to them upon his return.

85. On or about April 27, 2005, Chacon met with the Balderas and explained that they needed to sign some documents to arrange the financing, one of which was a "land contract," which guaranteed that they would not lose the property. Based on their communications with Chacon, the Balderas agreed to use Platinum's services. Pursuant to the arrangement between Respondent Jacobs and Platinum as set forth in paragraph 6 above, the firm commenced its representation of the parties to the transaction.

86. On or about April 27, 2005, Chacon introduced the Balderas to Carpenter, and Carpenter presented the Balderas with various documents to sign. At this meeting, at which only Carpenter and the Balderas were present, Carpenter instructed the Balderas to sign various blank documents. Two of the documents Carpenter directed the Balderas to sign were Illinois Statutory Short Form Powers of Attorney for Property ("POA"). The POAs were prepared by Respondent Jacobs and authorized Carpenter to act on behalf of the Balderas in any and all of the following transactions: "real estate, financial institution, stock and bond, tangible personal property, safe deposit box, insurance and annuity, retirement plan, social security, employment and military service benefits, tax matters, claims and litigation, commodity and option, business operation, borrowing, estate and all other property powers." There were no effective or termination dates on the POAs.

87. The POAs reflected that Iwona Burnat ("Burnat"), an employee of Advantage, witnessed the Balderas' execution of the POAs. In her witness acknowledgements on the POA, Burnat certified that the Balderas were "known to me to be the same person whose name is subscribed as principal to the foregoing power of attorney, appeared before me and the notary public and acknowledged signing and delivering the instrument as the free and voluntary act of the principal, for the uses and purposes therein set forth. I believe him or her to be of sound mind or memory." Burnat signed and dated the POA.

88. At no time alleged in this complaint did Burnat meet or speak to the Balderas nor did she witness the Balderas' execution of the POAs.

89. On or about April 27, 2005, Respondent Blum notarized the signatures of the Balderas on the POAs. In his notary acknowledgements, Respondent Blum certified that the Balderas were "known to me to be the same person whose name is subscribed as principal to the foregoing power of attorney, appeared before me and the additional witness in person and acknowledged signing and delivering the instrument as the free and voluntary act of the principal, for the uses and purposes therein set forth (and certified to the correctness of the signature(s) of the agent(s))." Respondent Blum signed, dated and affixed his notary stamp to the POAs.

90. At or about that same time, Respondent Blum notarized the signature of Burnat as witness on the POAs. In his notary acknowledgements, Respondent Blum certified that Burnat was "known to me to be the same person whose name is subscribed as witness to the foregoing power of attorney, appeared before me in person this 27th day of April, 2005." Respondent Blum signed and affixed his notary stamp to the POAs.

91. At all time relevant to this complaint, the Illinois Notary Act, 5 ILCS sec. 312/6-102, required that notary publics witness the signature being notarized or verify that the signature on the document is that of the person whose signature is being notarized. 5 ILCS sec. 312/7-105 provided that a notary who willfully violates the act is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, and that a notary who recklessly or negligently violates the act is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

92. At no time alleged in this complaint had Respondent Blum observed the Balderas or Burnat sign the POAs. Respondent Blum's statements in his notary acknowledgements attached to the POAs, that the Balderas and Burnat appeared before him to sign the POAs, were false, in that neither the Balderas nor Burnat ever appeared before him to sign the POAs. By notarizing the Balderas' and Burnat's signatures on the POAs without witnessing them sign the POAs, and making no attempt to determine whether they had actually signed the POAs, Respondent Blum engaged in criminal conduct in violation of 5 ILCS sec. 312/6-102 and 5 ILCS sec. 312/7-105.

93. At the meeting referenced in paragraph 86 above, Carpenter requested that the Balderas sign the following additional documents:

(a) a "Joint Venture Agreement" ("the JVA") which provided that the Balderas would sell the property to Platinum, Platinum would distribute the proceeds from the sale to pay the outstanding mortgage, the Balderas would rent the property from Platinum, be subject to immediate eviction should they be late on their monthly payment and be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the property. Respondent Jacobs drafted the JVA and the firm's name was on the top of the document. Respondent Jacobs executed the JVA on behalf of Platinum. The JVA reflected the date of the agreement as May 17, 2005;

(b) an agreement between the Balderas and Platinum stating that the Balderas monthly payment would not exceed $1,300 per month, the Balderas would receive no less than $10,000, contingent upon finding an investor for the property with a purchase price of no less than $165,000 and an appraisal of the property of no less than $165,000 and the repurchase price to be set at $165,000 and to close within 24 months. Respondent Jacobs drafted the agreement and executed the agreement on behalf of Platinum;

(c) a blank "Articles of Agreement for Deed" ("the articles"), drafted by Respondent Jacobs, which was later filled in outside the presence of the Balderas to provide for, inter alia, the following:

3. (c) The balance of the purchase price, to wit: $162,000.00 to be paid in equal monthly installments of $1,300.00 each, commencing on the 1st day of June, 2005, and on the 1st day of each month thereafter until the purchase price is paid in full ("Installment Payments");

3. (d) The final payment of the purchase price and all accrued but unpaid interest and other charges as hereinafter provided, if not sooner paid shall be due on the 1st day of May, 2007;

(d) a blank affidavit of title;

(e) a blank bill of sale, which was later filled in later to reflect the date of May 17, 2005;

(f) a blank warranty deed, prepared by Respondent Jacobs. The deed reflected that Respondent Blum notarized the Balderas' execution of the deed on May 17, 2005;

(h) a blank residential real estate contract, which was later filled in outside the presence of the Balderas to reflect a purchase price for the property of $172,000, listing Frederick as the buyer and "owners of record" as the seller. The contract was contingent on the seller securing a mortgage commitment of $154,800 on or before May 20, 2005. Carpenter listed Respondent Jacobs as the seller's attorney, Respondent Blum as the buyer's attorney, First Chicago as the selling and listing office and Carpenter as the selling and the listing agent. The contract reflected that the offer was extended by Frederick on May 6, 2005, and accepted by the Balderas on May 7, 2005;

(i) a blank addendum to the real estate contract later filled in outside the presence of the Balderas to reflect that the seller would contribute $10,320 of the purchase price as and for buyers' costs associated with the purchase of the property. The addendum reflected Frederick and the Balderas signed the documents on May 6, 2005;

(j) an "authorization to release information" form allowing Advantage the authority to request the Balderas financial information and request pay offs;

(k) an "authorization to release information" form to the firm, which Carpenter explained as the Balderas allowing the firm to work on their behalf. Respondent Jacobs drafted the authorization form and the form was placed on the firm's letterhead;

(l) a blank assignment of mortgage which Carpenter explained as a document required should Platinum have "to do a second mortgage to do the transaction;"

(m) a residential real property disclosure statement; and,

(n) a blank direction to disburse proceeds from the sale of the property, which was later filled outside the presence of the Balderas in to reflect the direction of payments of purchaser's closing costs, not to exceed $8,600, and payments to Platinum, First Chicago, all items on the settlement statement with the balance of the proceeds to the sellers.

94. The Balderas signed all the documents referenced in paragraph 93 above.

95. At some point shortly after April 27, 2005, Respondent Jacobs, or someone acting on his direction, began to accumulate and process the documents required for the closing. Respondent Jacobs, or someone acting on his behalf, ordered title policies and examined title with respect to the property, determined the taxes owed, ordered the water certification, and requested payoff letters from the Balderas' mortgage provider.

96. On or about April 28, 2005, Martha Balderas contacted Chacon and told him that she and her husband did not want to proceed with the transaction. Chacon advised that it was too late to cancel the transaction.

97. On or about May 3, 2005, Tom Swanson of Swanson Appraisal Service performed an appraisal of the property and determined its appraised value to be $172,000.

98. On or prior to May 13, 2005, Respondent Jacobs, or someone acting on his direction, forwarded a letter to AMC requesting a payoff amount on the Balderas' mortgage. On or about that same day, AMC issued its payoff statement in the amount of $96,073.10 with an additional $27.84 in interest per day if funds were received after May 13, 2005.

99. On May 17, 2005, the closing on the property took place. Carpenter signed all of the closing documents on behalf of the Balderas pursuant to the POA. The property was sold to Frederick for $172,000, who received a closing cost credit of $4,847.05. Frederick received a loan through Advantage to finance the purchase in the amount of $154,800. Frederick also received a junior mortgage in the amount of $8,600 from the Balderas as mortgagees, with a monthly payment of $75.47 in order to finance the acquisition of the property.

100. At no time alleged in this complaint did the Balderas agree to be junior mortgagees and at no time did the Balderas receive any payments from Frederick on the junior mortgage.

101. Pursuant to the settlement statement, the Balderas received $9,880 as their proceeds from the closing and the following persons/entities, inter alia, received the following payments:

Payee

Amount

Purpose

First Chicago

$9,820

Commission

Platinum

$38,322.21

unknown

Advantage

$1,905

Loan origination and other fees

Chicago Law Offices

$1,500

Attorney's fees

Chicago Law Offices

$701.25

Title Search fees

Chicago Law Offices

$426.38

Reimbursement for payment of water certification

AMC

$95,305.92

Payoff of Mortgage

102. On or about June 22, 2005, the Balderas received an invoice from Platinum informing them of their monthly rental obligation in the amount of $1,300 to be paid by July 1, 2005.

103. On or prior to July 5, 2005, the Balderas requested and attorney John A. Naughton ("Naughton") agreed to represent the Balderas in determining the status of the property. On or about July 5, 2005, Naughton contacted Chacon by telephone and requested copies of the paperwork concerning the transaction related to the property. At that time, Chacon referred Naughton to Respondent Jacobs, who he identified as the attorney for Platinum.

104. On or about July 11, 2005, Naughton forwarded a written demand for all paperwork concerning the transaction related to the property within 10 days.

105. On or about July 25, 2005, Respondent Jacobs, on behalf of Platinum, replied to Naughton's letter referenced in paragraph 104 above.

106. On or about October 27, 2005, Respondent Jacobs, on behalf of Platinum and Frederick, sent to the Balderas a "Thirty Day Notice." The notice informed the Balderas that they owed $3,900 to Platinum which had to be paid within 30 days or the articles would be terminated. The notice further instructed the Balderas to forward payment to the firm.

107. On or about December 9, 2005, Respondent Jacobs, on behalf of Platinum and Frederick, sent to the Balderas a "Notice to Cure Default and Intention to Forfeit Articles of Agreement." The notice provided that the Balderas must pay $7,000 within 30 days or surrender possession of the property.

108. As a result of Respondent Jacobs undertaking the representation of the Balderas, Frederick and Platinum, Respondent Jacobs owed a fiduciary duty to the Balderas, Frederick and Platinum which required Respondent Jacobs to exercise the highest degree of honesty, loyalty, and good faith in his dealings with them.

109. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Jacobs disclose to the Balderas that he also represented Frederick and Platinum in relation to the transaction, nor did Respondent Jacobs disclose to the Balderas the implications of and risks involved in the common representation on the exercise of his independent professional judgment.

110. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Jacobs tell the Balderas that his own business or personal interest in the relationship with Advantage and Platinum might materially affect his representation of the Balderas in the transaction or that they should consult with an independent attorney regarding the transaction.

111. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Jacobs meet with or communicate privately with the Balderas regarding any issues related to the sale of the property to Frederick, including but not limited to the terms of the POA, the terms of the JVA, the articles, the terms of the sales contract or the settlement statement.

112. At no time alleged in this complaint did Respondent Jacobs take any steps to ascertain if the actions he and the firm were taking on the Balderas' behalf related to the sale of the property accurately reflected the Balderas' desires or protected the Bladeras' legal interests.

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

  1. breach of fiduciary duty by failing to protect the Balderas' interests and advancing his own self-interests above those of the Balderas;

  2. failing to consult with clients as to the means by which the objectives of representation are to be pursued, in violation of Rule 1.2(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  3. failing to keep clients reasonably informed about the status of a matter in violation of Rule 1.4(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  4. failing to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the clients to make informed decisions about the representation in violation of Rule 1.4(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  5. representing clients where the representation of that client was materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client or by the lawyer's own interests in violation of Rule 1.7(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  6. representing multiple clients in a single matter without explaining the implications of the common representation and the advantages and risks involved, in violation of Rule 1.7(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  7. failure to supervise and make reasonable efforts to ensure that Carpenter's conduct was compatible with the professional obligations of Respondent in violation of Rule 5.3 (a) and (b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  8. ordering, or with knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifying the conduct involved in violation of Rule 5.3(c)(1) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  9. conduct involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  10. engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and

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

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

  1. committing a criminal act, violation of the Illinois Notary Act, 5 ILCS 312/6-102 and 5 ILCS 312/7-105, that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  2. conduct involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and

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

WHEREFORE, the Administrator requests that these matters 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.

Tracy L. Kepler
Counsel for the Administrator
One Prudential Plaza
130 E. Randolph Dr., Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Telephone: (312) 565-2600
Respectfully submitted,

Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission

By:   Tracy L. Kepler