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

In the Matter of:

TAMARA NYPHIA HONORE,

Attorney-Respondent, 

No. 6257277.

 

Commission No.  08 CH 60

FILED -  July 3, 2008

COMPLAINT

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Allison L. Wood, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 753(b), complains of Respondent, Tamara Nyphia Honore, who was licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois on December 8, 1998, 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:

COUNT I
(Criminal conviction for disorderly conduct in violation of 720 ILCS 5/26-1)

1. In November 2003, Respondent's husband, Kierre Honore ("Kierre") filed a petition for dissolution of marriage against Respondent in a matter that was docketed as, In re the Marriage of Kierre Honore and Tamara Honore, case number 03 D 11819, in Cook County. On February 5, 2004, a judgment of dissolution was entered by the court.

2. Since at least May 2004 through October 2006, Respondent represented herself in certain post-judgment issues.

3. On or about October 20, 2006, Kierre who was at that time, represented by Margaret Katherine Avery ("Avery"), obtained an emergency order of protection against Respondent. On or about November 22, 2006, Respondent filed a motion to vacate the emergency order of protection that was entered against her. The motion was scheduled to be heard on December 14, 2006 by Judge Veronica Mathein. On or about December 8, 2006, Avery filed a motion to dismiss Respondent's motion to vacate the emergency order of protection, which was also scheduled to be heard on December 14, 2006.

4. On December 14, 2006, Respondent did not appear and Judge Mathein entered an order striking Respondent's motion to vacate the emergency order of protection.

5. Approximately a half-hour after Judge Mathein struck her motion, Respondent appeared in court, learned that the motion had been stricken, and asked the clerk to recall the case. Respondent was told that the matter would have to be recalled later that afternoon because Judge Mathein was no longer available. Respondent left the courtroom and walked out to the hallway. When Avery approached Respondent in the hallway, with a copy of the order that has been entered striking Respondent's motion, Respondent yelled expletives at Avery while pointing her finger in Avery's face. Avery returned to the court room to get the assistance of the Deputy Sheriff, at which point Respondent left the building.

6. Later that afternoon of December 14, 2006, Respondent returned to Judge Mathein's courtroom and asked Judge Mathein to reinstate the motion. During the hearing, Respondent yelled at Avery and yelled at Judge Mathein, and was escorted out of Judge Mathein's courtroom by court security personnel. While outside the courtroom, Respondent shouted back toward Judge Mathein's courtroom that a Nevada family law judge had been shot "for doing what Judge Mathein did to [Respondent]."

7. At all times alleged in this complaint, 720 ILCS 5/12-9(a) provided, in part, that:

A person commits the offense of threatening a public official when:

(1) that person knowingly and willfully delivers or conveys, directly or indirectly, to a public official by any means a communication: (i) containing a threat that would place the public official . . . in reasonable apprehension of immediate or future bodily harm . . . and

(2) the threat was conveyed because of the performance or nonperformance of some public duty, because of hostility of the person making the threat toward the status or position of the public official, or because of another factor related to the official's public existence.

8. On January 23, 2007, the Cook County State's Attorney filed a felony complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County charging Respondent with one count of threatening a public official in violation of 720 ILCS 9(a)(1)(i), a Class 3 felony, in relation to the events described in paragraphs one through five above. Respondent did not post bond and remained in jail for four months. Ultimately, Respondent pled guilt to the charge of disorderly conduct in violation of 720 ILCS 5/26-1, and was sentenced to time served and twenty-four months probation.

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

  1. committing a criminal act that reflects adversely upon her honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects by engaging in disorderly conduct in violation of 720 ILCS 5/26-1 and Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

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

  3. 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.

COUNT II
(Unauthorized practice of law in relation to Cheryl Flowers)

10. In or about June 2005, Cheryl Flowers ("Flowers") was appointed the legal guardian of her great niece, a seven year old child, Alyiah Harris ("Alyiah"), in a matter docketed as the Estate of Alyiah Harris, case no. 05P 1024. Alyiah's mother, Valencia Tucker died on June 27, 2005.

11. Later in 2005, Steven Harris ("Harris"), the father of Alyiah, filed suit against Flowers in a matter docketed as Steven Harris v. Cheryl Flowers, case no. 05 D 079993, seeking to challenge Flowers guardianship and to obtain custody of Alyiah. The probate case and the custody case were consolidated (the"Flowers case") and Respondent agreed to represent Flowers pro bono. Respondent represented Flowers through 2005 and 2006 as the parties tried to negotiate issues of custody and visitation.

12. As of February 1, 2007, Respondent had not registered or paid the annual fee, which pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 756, was to be paid by January 1, 2007. Under the schedule set forth in Rule 756, Respondent was required to pay a fee determined to be due for 2007.

13. On February 6, 2007, the Administrator removed Respondent's name from the Master Roll of Attorneys authorized to practice law in Illinois.

14. After February 6, 2007, and during a time in which she was not authorized to practice law in Illinois, Respondent continued to hold herself out as an attorney by representing Flowers before the Cook County Circuit Court in relation to the Flowers case.

15. On June 18, 2007, there was a status hearing in the Flowers case. Before the case was called, the opposing counsel, F. Ellen Duff ("Duff"), indicated to Respondent that she had discovered that Respondent had been removed from the Master Roll. Respondent told Duff that there must have been some mistake. When the matter was called, Duff and Respondent appeared before Judge Kathleen McGury. Duff advised Judge McGury of her discovery that Respondent had been removed from the Master Roll. Respondent told Judge McGury that she had recently paid her registration fees for 2007 and that the ARDC records must have been erroneous. Judge McGury then allowed Respondent to proceed on behalf of Flowers.

16. Respondent's representations to Judge McGury that she had recently paid her registration fees for 2007 and that the ARDC records must have been erroneous were false and known by Respondent to be false because Respondent had made no payments to the ARDC prior to her appearance before Judge McGury.

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

  1. 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;

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

  3. 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

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

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.

Allison L. Wood
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:   Allison L. Wood