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

In the Matter of:

 JEFFREY LUCKETT,

Attorney-Respondent, 

No.  225502.

 

Commission No.  08 CH 43

FILED -  August 31, 2009

AMENDED COMPLAINT

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Maureen GormanWendy J. Muchman, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 753(b) and Supreme Court Rule 761(c), complains of Respondent, Jeffery Luckett, who was licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois on November 10, 1994, and alleges that Respondent has engaged in the following conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute:

COUNT I
(Dishonest Billing Practices and Unreasonable Fees)

1. At all times alleged in this complaint, Respondent was a private attorney who is a member of the Juvenile Court Bar Attorney Program, ("the program") administered by the Chicago Bar Association, and in that capacity represented indigent respondents in juvenile justice and child protection matters.

2. Cook County compensates attorneys who participate in the program at set hourly "in court" and "out of court" rates. The attorneys receive authorization for their compensation by presenting to the respective trial judges fee petitions accompanied by affidavits attesting to the work they performed on specific dates. The presiding judges then review the petitions on the specific cases pending in their courtroom and grant orders to pay the attorney. The attorneys then present the orders and copies of their fee petitions to Clerk of the Cook County Board of Commissioners for approval. Once approved, the Cook County Treasurer issues payment to the attorneys.

3. In the first half of 2006, Respondent presented to the Clerk of the Board orders for payment totaling $350,000, representing services from June 2001 to June 2006. These billing statements included itemizations of the time Respondent purported to expend on various cases, the services purportedly provided on that case, and the applicable hourly rate. For various dates listed below, Respondent's statements sought payment for time exceeding twenty hours in a given day:

DATE

In-court Hours

Out-of-court Hours

Total

May 14, 2003

8.5

11.5

20

October 16, 2003

10

18

28

November 18, 2003

8

18

26

December 8, 2003

5.5

22

27.5

December 9, 2003

14.5

18

32.5

February 17, 2004

11.5

12.5

24

February 18, 2004

12.5

15

27.5

March 15, 2004

 

21.5

21.5

April 22, 2004

4.5

15.5

20

April 26, 2004

 

20

20

April 27, 2004

13.5

8.5

22

May 10, 2004

2.5

24

26.5

July 12, 2004

 

22

22

July 14, 2004

12

10

22

July 19, 2004

8

15

23

August 2, 2004

4.5

20.5

25

August 3, 2004

12.5

11

23.5

August 17, 2004

9

12.5

21.5

August 24, 2004

10.5

9.5

20

September 16, 2004

13

7.5

20.5

October 4, 2004

4.5

18.5

23

October 5, 2004

18

17

35

October 19, 2004

4.5

21.5

26

November 8, 2004

7.5

13.5

21

December 1, 2004

12

13.5

25.5

January 19, 2005

16

11.5

27.5

February 2, 2005

5.5

23.5

29

February 3, 2005

16

7.5

23.5

February 16, 2005

5

17.5

22.5

February 17, 2005

14

14.5

28.5

March 15, 2005

14.5

25.5

40

March 22, 2005

5.5

15

20.5

March 29, 2005

14

13.5

27.5

April 5, 2005

8

15

23

April 6, 2005

 

20.5

20.5

April 11, 2005

5.5

16.5

22

April 12, 2005

8.5

13

21.5

April 13, 2005

2.5

22.5

25

April 18, 2005

 

24.5

24.5

April 19, 2005

8

14.5

22.5

April 26, 2005

8

12

20

May 3, 2005

7

14

21

May 10, 2005

2

18.5

20.5

May 17, 2005

13.5

8

21.5

June 8, 2005

7.5

13.5

21

June 13, 2005

3

27.5

30.5

June 14, 2005

9

12

21

June 20, 2005

6

16.5

22.5

June 21, 2005

11.5

13.5

25

June 22, 2005

9.5

18.5

28

June 27, 2005

7.5

17

24.5

June 28, 2005

12.5

18

30.5

June 30, 2005

 

21.5

21.5

July 5, 2005

 

32.5

32.5

July 6, 2005

9.5

12

21.5

July 11, 2005

8.5

16.5

25

July 25, 2005

 

25.5

25.5

July 26, 2005

14

21

35

July 30, 2005

 

21

21

August 3, 2005

3.5

18.5

22

August 8, 2005

 

30

30

August 9, 2005

8.5

16.5

25

August 15, 2005

 

20.5

20.5

August 16, 2005

14

11

25

August 17, 2005

2.5

18.5

21

August 29, 2005

10

11

21

September 22, 2005

12.5

15

27.5

September 24, 2005

 

21.5

21.5

September 27, 2005

7

18.5

25.5

October 3, 2005

2.5

18

20.5

October 6, 2005

10.5

22

32.5

October 25, 2005

2.5

22

24.5

November 7, 2005

2.5

17.5

20

November 8, 2005

12.5

20.5

33

November 14, 2005

15

15.5

30.5

November 18, 2005

 

25

25

December 5, 2005

16

17.5

33.5

December 12, 2005

7.5

14

21.5

December 13, 2005

11

19

30

December 14, 2005

7

16

23

December 15, 2005

14.5

6

20.5

January 3, 2006

8.5

14.5

23

January 4, 2006

4

21

25

February 13, 2006

 

20

20

February 14, 2006

3.5

17

20.5

March 11, 2006

 

21

21

March 13, 2006

4

17.5

21.5

March 17, 2006

3

21

24

4. Respondent's billings submitted as described in paragraph three above were false and Respondent knew or should have known they were false, because he did not properly account for his time spent on the legal services indicated on those entries.

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

  1. Charging and obtaining unreasonable fees, in violation of Rule 1.5(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  2. Making a false statement of fact to a tribunal which the lawyer knows or reasonable should know is false in violation of Rule 3.3(a)(1) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

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

  4. 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

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

COUNT II

(Telephone Harassment)

1 Respondent is the father of Morgan Luckett (hereinafter Morgan). Morgan's mother is Linda Anderson.

2. In 2008 and 2009, there was in effect a statute in Illinois, telephone harassment, which provides in relevant part that: "Harassment by telephone is use of telephone communication for any of the following purposes: making a telephone call, whether or not conversation ensures, with intent to abuse, threaten or harass any person at the called number." 720 ILCS 135/1-1.

3. On April 29, 2008, Respondent called Linda Anderson's home and left messages on her phone machine including statements as "I'm going to kick your high yellow ass," "If I go to court I'm going to get you in court and it's going to take ten police officers to pull me off of you;" and "I'm going to kill you," several times in the same message.

4. On January 29, 2009, Respondent called Linda Anderson's home and left a phone message stating "I'm going to get your ass, bitch;" and I will cut off the head of any man who lays hands upon Morgan and place his dismembered head on the vehicle of the man's car.

5. On February 4, 2009, Respondent called Linda Anderson's home and left a message that he was going to get "his boy" to pull a gun and put it to Anderson's as well as statements that he was going to send a "real clear message" and that he would break Anderson's neck and stomp on her wherever she was if she called the police.

6. Respondent made the phone calls described in paragraphs three through five above with intent to abuse, threaten or harass Linda Anderson.

7. As a result of the phone calls described in paragraphs four and five, on February 5, 2009 a misdemeanor criminal complaint was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, People of the State of Illinois vs. Jeffrey Luckett 09 MC 1463.

8. On June 18, 2009 a bench trial was held in case 09 MC 1463. At the conclusion of the trial, Judge Donnelly entered a sentence of conditional discharge and sentenced the Respondent to thirty days of Sheriff's Work Alternative Program and two years conditional discharge.

9. As a result of the conduct set forth above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. committing criminal acts that reflect adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness and fitness as a lawyer in other respects by violating 720 ILCS 135/1-1; and

  2. 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 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.

Wendy J. Muchman
Counsel for the Administrator
130 East Randolph Drive, #1500
Chicago, Illinois 60601
(312) 565-2600
Respectfully submitted,

Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission

By:   Wendy J. Muchman