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

In the Matter of:

ERNEST THOMAS ROSSIELLO,

Attorney-Respondent, 

No.  2397137.

 

Commission No.  08 CH 112

FILED -  November 5, 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 Ernest Thomas Rossiello, who was licensed to practice law in Illinois on November 15, 1971, 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:

Unauthorized Practice of Law

1. On January 23, 2008, in the matter entitled In re Ernest Thomas Rossiello, case number 03 CH 33, the Supreme Court of Illinois entered an order suspending Respondent from the practice of law in the State of Illinois for four months, effective on February 13, 2008. Respondent was aware of the Supreme Court's January 23, 2008 order shortly thereafter. As a result, Respondent was prohibited from practicing law in Illinois from February 13, 2008 through June 13, 2008.

2. In or about January 2008, in anticipation of a possible suspension, Respondent hired Erica Longfield ("Longfield"), a 27 year old, 2007 graduate of the John Marshall Law School, who was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois on November 8, 2007. Respondent hired Longfield as an associate to assist him in handling the day to day operation of his legal practice during his suspension, including but not limited to court appearances, communication with clients and opposing counsel, and drafting and filing pleadings.

3. Between February 13, 2008 to April 10, 2008, Longfield was the only licensed attorney employed by Respondent's firm, Law Offices of Ernest T. Rossiello & Associates, P.C.

4. From February 13, 2008 to April 10, 2008, Respondent had daily contact with Longfield and his secretary/receptionist, Sara Marudecki ("Marudecki"), through his cellular phone, home telephone, by the use of a facsimile and via email. During these conversations, emails and faxes, Respondent requested information from and directed Longfield and Marudecki to take action on various client files. These requests and directions included, but were not limited to a daily report, each afternoon, of what faxes, letters, emails, telephone messages, pleadings and checks had come into the office, arguments to be made and orders to be requested by Longfield in court hearings, directing language to be used and statements to be made by Longfield in oral and written communications with clients and opposing counsel, and status reports on discovery and hearings in pending cases.

5. From February 13, 2008 to April 10, 2008, Respondent drafted and/or reviewed and revised Longfield's drafts of pleadings, discovery and letters to opposing counsel and clients. Pursuant to Respondent's direction, Longfield incorporated Respondent's revisions to her drafts of pleadings, discovery and letters to opposing counsel and clients. Pursuant to Respondent's direction, Longfield and/or Marudecki filed pleadings and/or forwarded letters drafted solely by Respondent, and those drafted by Longfield and revised by Respondent, in the following matters before the following courts:

Case Name, Number and Court

Stapinski v. Plainfield Comm. Cons. School Dist.
07 L 448, Circuit Court of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, Will County
Kaiser, et al. v. Kellman, et al.
06 L 7048, Circuit Court of Cook County
Banks v. Fore Transportation
07 L 10796, Circuit Court of Cook County

Kovitz, Shifrin & Nesbit, P.C. v. Anderson, et al.
07 CH 13630, Circuit Court of Cook County

Smith v. Investigative Services, et al.
06 L 7509, Circuit Court of Cook County

Lopez v. Sorman & Frankel, et al.
06 L 10269, Circuit Court of Cook County

Besbekos, et al v. IL State Toll Highway Authority
05 MR 768, Circuit Court of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, Will County

Parker v. Trinity Services, Inc.
06 L 465, Circuit Court of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, Will County

Bilandzic v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital
07 L 10735, Circuit Court of Cook County

Herbert v. Aesthetic Dermatology, et al.
08 L 314, Circuit Court of Cook County

Ogilvy Mather v. Harrison, et al.
06 M1 187830, Circuit Court of Cook County

6. 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. 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 Supreme Court Rule 770.

WHEREFORE, the Administrator respectfully 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.

Tracy L. Kepler
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:  Tracy L. Kepler