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

In the Matter of:

JANE KIM,

Attorney-Respondent, 

No. 6285039.

 

Commission No. 2012PR00037

FILED - April 26, 2012

COMPLAINT

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Lea S. Black, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 753(b), complains of Respondent, Jane Kim, who was licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois on June 7, 2005, 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, and which should subject her to discipline pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 770:

(Posting Illinois State Bar Association articles on her website
without crediting the source
)

1. At all times alleged in this complaint, Respondent maintained a website for her law firm at the web address www.kyzlaw.com on which she posted articles about topics related to her practice area, as well as topics related to current issues in the news. Respondent was solely responsible for the content posted on that website.

2. In December 2008 the Illinois State Bar Association ("ISBA") published an articled authored by Helen W. Gunnarsson ("Gunnarsson"), entitled "Real estate and divorce: No more transfer-tax exemption?" On or about March 5, 2009, Respondent published a verbatim copy of Gunnarsson's article on her website.

3. Respondent did not identify Gunnarsson as the author of the article and she did not credit the December 2008 ISBA article as the source of the information posted on Respondent's website. Respondent posted a picture of herself beneath the article followed by the words "About Jane Kim," to create the false impression that Respondent had written the article.

4. On or about June 16, 2009, in response to a comment posted regarding the article described in paragraph two, above, Respondent wrote "I control all content and it is solely my own content posted on this site."

5. Respondent's statement that it was solely her own content posted on the website was false, and Respondent knew it was false, because she did not author the article described in paragraph two, above.

6. The ISBA published an article in its September 2011 Illinois Bar Journal authored by Gunnarsson and entitled "The Five Biggest Business Mistakes Lawyers Make." On August 26, 2011, the American Bar Association ("ABA") published an article authored by Debra Cassens Weiss ("Weiss") entitled "Why It's a Mistake to Be the Cheapest Lawyer in Town." Weiss' article commented on sections of the ISBA's article published in its September 2011 Journal.

7. On or about August 27, 2011, Respondent published an article on her website entitled "Why It Is a Mistake to Hire the Cheapest Lawyer In Town." The article appearing on the kyzlaw.com website contained verbatim excerpts from the article published in the ISBA's September 2011 Illinois Bar Journal and authored by Gunnarsson, and from the August 2011 article published by the ABA and authored by Weiss.

8. Respondent did not credit the September 2011 ISBA article or the August 26, 2011 ABA article as the sources of the information posted on Respondent's website, nor did she credit Gunnarsson or Weiss as the authors of the direct quotes she used in her article. Respondent posted a picture of herself beneath the article followed by the words "about Jane Kim," to create the false impression that Respondent had written the article.

9. By reason of the conduct outlined above that occurred before January 1, 2010, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. making a false or misleading communication about herself, in violation of Rule 7.1 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

  2. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (1990); and

  3. conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute.

10. By reason of the conduct outlined above that occurred on or after January 1, 2010, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. making a false or misleading communication about herself, in violation of Rule 7.1 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

  2. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010); and

  3. conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute.

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.

Lea S. Black
Counsel for the Administrator
One Prudential Plaza
130 East Randolph Drive, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60601-6219
Telephone: (312) 565-2600

Respectfully submitted,

Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission

By:  Lea S. Black