BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD
ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION
In the Matter of:
Commission No. 09 CH 2
FILED - January 9, 2009
Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Melissa A. Smart, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 753(b), complains of Respondent, Kelly Maureen Murawski, who was licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois on November 6, 1997, 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:
(Using Information Relating to the Representation to the Disadvantage of a Former Client)
1. In or about July 2006, Respondent began an intimate relationship with Matthew Brennock ("Brennock"). Both Respondent and Brennock were married to others at the time that their relationship began.
2. On or about November 5, 2007, Respondent agreed to represent Brennock in his efforts to obtain an order of protection against Chablis Tipton ("Tipton") whom Brennock claimed was harassing him.
3. On or about November 9, 2007, Respondent, on behalf of Brennock, obtained an emergency order of protection against Tipton in the matter entitled, Matt Brennock v. Chablis Tipton, case no. 07 OP 40501, in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
4. On or about November 30, 2007, case no. 07 OP 40501 was called before Judge Robert E. Senechalle, Jr. for hearing on an extension of the order of protection against Tipton. Respondent stepped up on behalf of Brennock. Tipton appeared pro se.
5. While before Judge Senechalle, Tipton asserted that the order of protection was unjustified because she was not harassing Brennock. According to Tipton, she and Brennock were involved in an intimate relationship. Tipton produced various e-mails and documents which purportedly proved that she and Brennock were involved in an intimate relationship and that she was not harassing Brennock.
6. When Tipton produced the various e-mails and documents, Respondent asked if she could see the documents. Judge Senechalle told Tipton to give the documents to Respondent and then he called for a recess in the proceedings so the parties could review the evidence.
7. After Judge Senechalle called for a recess, Respondent told Brennock to sit down and wait in the courtroom and she asked Tipton to follow her out into the hallway. Brennock followed Respondent and Tipton out into the hallway and down the stairs. Respondent sat down with Tipton and reviewed the documents. During this time, Brennock repeatedly asked Respondent to give him the documents. At no time did Respondent give Brennock the documents or reply to his request that she give him the documents.
8. While she was reviewing the documents, described in Paragraph Five, above, Brennock informed Respondent that she was discharged as his attorney. Brennock again asked for Respondent to give him the documents. At no time did Respondent give Brennock the documents or reply to his request that she give him the documents.
9. After reviewing the documents described in Paragraph Five, above, Respondent told Brennock he was "dead" and proceeded back to Judge Senechalle's courtroom with the documents in her hand.
10. When case no. 07 OP 40501 was called, Respondent made a motion to withdraw from representing Brennock. Respondent's motion was granted.
11. On or about November 30, 2007, in the afternoon, after the court proceedings in case no. 07 OP 40501 were concluded, Respondent called Brennock's wife, Sally Brennock ("Sally"). At that time, Respondent spoke with Sally and told her about Respondent's relationship with Brennock, that Respondent had represented Brennock that day in an order of protection matter and that during the course of the proceedings, Respondent learned that Brennock had also been involved in an intimate relationship with a woman named Chablis Tipton, and that Respondent had seen various e-mails and documents which proved that Brennock and Tipton were involved in an intimate relationship.
12. On or about November 30, 2007, in the evening, Respondent went to a restaurant in Oak Park, IL which she knew was frequented by Sally. At that time, Respondent found Sally in the restaurant. Respondent spoke with Sally again about the information she had seen from Tipton during the court proceedings earlier that day and about Brennock's relationships with other women.
13. At no time did Brennock authorize Respondent to disclose any information related to his order of protection matter to Sally or any other individual.
14. On or about December 17, 2007, Sally filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage against Brennock. The matter was entitled, In re the Marriage of Sally S. Brennock and Matthew S. Brennock, case no. 07 D 12419, in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
15. By reason of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:
revealing a client confidence or secret of the client known to the lawyer without the client's consent, in violation of Rule 1.6(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;
having formerly represented Matthew Brennock in a matter, using information relating to the representation to the disadvantage of Matthew Brennock, in violation of Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 1.9(a)(2);
failure to return to the client all papers and property to which the client is entitled in violation of Rule 1.16(d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct and
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.
WHEREFORE, the Administrator respectfully requests that this matter be assigned to a panel of the Hearing Board, that a hearing be held pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 753(b), and the Panel make findings of fact, conclusions of fact and law, and a recommendation of such discipline as is warranted.
|Melissa A. Smart
Counsel for Administrator
One Prudential Plaza
130 East Randolph Drive, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Telephone: (312) 565-2600
Facsimile: (312) 565-2320