INFORMATION RELEASE

Thursday January 18, 2007 10:00 am

 

 

MARY ROBINSON TO LEAVE ARDC

AFTER FIFTEEN YEARS OF SERVICE

 

 

Mary Robinson, the Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC), today announced that she is leaving her post after many years of dedicated service. The ARDC is the Illinois Supreme Court agency that regulates the legal profession in this state and investigates alleged wrongdoing by Illinois attorneys, holds hearings on specific charges, and recommends professional discipline where warranted.

Ms. Robinsonís last scheduled day as Administrator is March 16, 2007, her fifteenth anniversary of taking office.

In a letter sent to Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert R. Thomas this week, she thanked the Court for the unique opportunity that the position had afforded her and noted:
 

I have been privileged to serve as ARDC Administrator since March 16, 1992ÖI committed to a tenure of five years, and after five years, I had accomplished much of  what I had intended. Yet I stayed because, truth be told, this is a much finer professional opportunity than I had foreseen. Every day, I enjoyed the company of talented, dedicated lawyers on both sides of the cases. Our work was important and interesting. I served a Supreme Court that provided the resources and independence necessary to do the work, and I reported to a Commission that set sound policy and provided sage guidance.

 

During her tenure as Administrator, the legal profession grew in Illinois from 61,107 lawyers to over 83,000. She met the challenges of that increase by enhancing the quality of practice at the ARDC and by accelerating the resolution of both investigation and formal hearing cases. She also supervised the creation of an Ethics Inquiry Program to aid members of the Bar in resolving ethical dilemmas, fostered the Supreme Courtís Client Protection Program to reimburse clients who lost money as a result of the dishonest conduct of a lawyer, was instrumental in creating the Illinois Professional Responsibility Institute, and oversaw the publication of many practical guides to aid lawyers in understanding their professional responsibilities.

Through her leadership, Illinois is recognized as having one of the finest and most accomplished lawyer regulatory agencies in the country.

Ms. Robinson is a graduate of the University of Illinois and received her law degree from the University of Southern California. Prior to her being named Administrator, she was engaged in the private practice of law concentrating in appellate, criminal and family law. While in private practice, she served on the Illinois Supreme Courtís Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases, on several bar association committees, including the ABA Standing Committee on Professional Discipline and the Criminal Justice Section Council of the ISBA, and as Secretary to the Kane County Bar Association. She was appointed an ARDC Commissioner in 1989. From 1975 through 1982, she represented indigent criminal defendants on appeal, first as a staff attorney in the Third District office of the State Appellate Defender and then as Deputy Director of the Appellate Defenderís Second District office. She has lectured on a variety of continuing legal education topics, and has taught Professional Responsibility at Northwestern University Law School and the Northern Illinois University School of Law. She remains active in state and local bar associations.           

            After she leaves office, Ms. Robinson will remain in the professional responsibility field conducting programs and training, and serve as an expert witness and an ethics consultant.

The ARDC will conduct a search for a new Administrator and will announce her replacement in the Spring. Persons interested in the position should send a letter of interest and a  resume to: Eva Tramutolo, Manager, Human Resources, A.R.D.C., 130 East Randolph Drive, Suite 1500, Chicago, Illinois 60601.

The ARDC is composed of seven members, three of whom are non-lawyers. Attorney Benedict Schwarz II of West Dundee is the Commission Chairman. Commissioners receive no compensation for their services. The Commissioners establish A.R.D.C. policies, appoint members of the A.R.D.C. Inquiry and Hearing Boards and, subject to the approval of the Supreme Court, appoint the Commission's chief executive officer, the Administrator. More than one hundred full time employees and over one hundred lawyer and non-lawyer volunteers work for the A.R.D.C. All funds expended by the agency are from annual fees paid by Illinois attorneys. There are no tax dollars used to support the disciplinary system. Yearly fees are imposed on most Illinois lawyers to fund the ARDC. There are two A.R.D.C. offices: One Prudential Plaza in Chicago and the One North Old Capitol Plaza in Springfield.

For additional information, contact: 

James J. Grogan, Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Chicago.

312-565-2600 or 1-800-826-8625