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

In the Matter of:

 GERALD LAURENCE GOLD,

Attorney-Respondent, 

No.  981443.

 

Commission No.  09 CH 22

FILED -  May 27, 2009

COMPLAINT

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Gina M. Abbatemarco, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 761(d), complains of Respondent Gerald Laurence Gold, who was licensed to practice law in Illinois on October 10, 1974, 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:

1. At all times set forth in this complaint, 625 ILCS 5/11-501 (a) and (d)(1)(F) provided:

Driving while under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds or any combination thereof.

  1. A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this State while:

(1) the alcohol concentration in the person's blood or breath is 0.08 or more based on the definition of blood and breath units in Section 11-501.2;

(2) under the influence of alcohol;

(3) under the influence of any intoxicating compound or combination of intoxicating compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving safely;

(4) under the influence of any other drug or combination of drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving;

(5) under the combined influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving; or

(6) there is any amount of a drug, substance, or compound in the person's breath, blood, or urine resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of cannabis listed in the Cannabis Control Act, a controlled substance listed in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, an intoxicating compound listed in the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act, or methamphetamine as listed in the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.

  1. Aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof.

(1) Every person convicted of committing a violation of this Section shall be guilty of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof if:

(F) the person, in committing a violation of subsection (a), was involved in a motor vehicle, snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, or watercraft accident that resulted in the death of another person, when the violation of subsection (a) was a proximate cause of the death;

2. At all times set forth in this complaint, 625 ILCS 5/11-401(b) provided that:

  1. Any person who has failed to stop or to comply with the requirements of paragraph (a) shall, as soon as possible but in no case later than one-half hour after such motor vehicle accident, or, if hospitalized and incapacitated from reporting at any time during such period, as soon as possible but in no case later than one-half hour after being discharged from the hospital, report the place of the accident, the date, the approximate time, the driver's name and address, the registration number of the vehicle driven, and the names of all other occupants of such vehicle, at a police station or sheriff's office near the place where such accident occurred. No report made as required under this paragraph shall be used, directly or indirectly, as a basis for the prosecution of any violation of paragraph (a).

3. On or about August 14, 2004, after consuming two to three beers while watching the White Sox game on television, Respondent left his home in his van to get some food at a Wendy's fast food restaurant. On his way to Wendy's, Respondent was driving north bound on Waukegan Road, in Deerfield, Illinois, at approximately 11:00 p.m. when he struck Thad Martens ("Martens") in the 1950 block of Waukegan Road as Martens was riding his bicycle alongside the road.

4. After hitting Martens, Respondent returned home, leaving the van and taking another automobile back out to get food at Wendy's. While Respondent was gone, his wife, Gabriela Gold, began looking in the house for him and when she checked to see if he had left in a car, she saw the van's windshield, side mirror and side window had been broken.

5. Upon Respondent's return home with the food, he ate his food and his wife questioned him about the damage to their van. Respondent told his wife that he hit a bike that was in the middle of the road.

6. At approximately 12:00 a.m. on August 15, 2004, Gabriela Gold asked Respondent to take her to the place he hit the bike. Respondent and Gabriela Gold then returned to the scene of the accident and observed Thad Martens lying on the ground by the roadside, unconscious. Respondent and Gabriela Gold then returned home and discussed what they should do.

7. On August 15, 2004 at 1:42 a.m., Respondent and his wife appeared at the Deerfield Police Department to report the incident. Shortly thereafter, while at the police station Respondent submitted to a breathalyzer test which registered .097.

8. Martens sustained multiple injuries due to the August 14, 2004 incident including four broken limbs, severe brain trauma, and partial paralysis. He died several months later after contracting pneumonia in a nursing home.

9. On March 8, 2006, a Lake County grand jury indicted Respondent and charged him with reckless homicide (enhanced), two counts of aggravated driving under the influence, failure to report an accident involving death and failure to report an accident involving personal injury, based on the August 14, 2004 incident. The clerk of the court docketed the matter as People v. Gerald L. Gold, case no. 06 CF 955. A copy of the indictment is attached as Exhibit One.

10. On March 6, 2009, after a jury trial, Respondent was found guilty of the class three felony of aggravated driving under the influence and the class four felony of failure to report an accident involving death. Judgment was entered against him on that date. The Honorable Daniel B. Shanes sentenced Respondent to seven years in the Department of Corrections with respect to his failure to report an accident involving death and to 18 months periodic imprisonment (to run consecutively with the seven years) and 36 months of probation for aggravated driving under the influence. He was ordered to undergo psychiatric, drug and alcohol evaluations, to comply with all treatment recommended by probation during the periodic imprisonment, to perform 200 hours of public service and attend a victim impact panel. A copy of the judgment of conviction is attached as Exhibit Two.

11. As a result of the order of conviction and the conduct described above Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. committing a criminal act (by violating 625 ILCS 5/11-501 (a) and (d)(1)(F), and 625 ILCS 5/11-401 (b) that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

  2. 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 requests that this matter be assigned to a panel of the Hearing Board, that a hearing be held pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 761, and that the panel make findings of fact, conclusions of fact and law, and a recommendation for such discipline as is warranted.

Gina M. Abbatemarco
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:   Gina M. Abbatemarco