Filed April 21, 2011

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

In the Matter of:

JOHN STEPHEN NARMONT,

Attorney-Respondent,

No. 2016540.

Commission No. 09 SH 27

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE HEARING BOARD

INTRODUCTION

The hearing in this matter was held on September 21 and 22, November 16, and December 14, 2010, at the offices of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Springfield, Illinois before a Hearing Board Panel consisting of Richard W. Zuckerman, Chair, Elizabeth N. Carrion, and Richard J. Mark. The Administrator was represented by Gary S. Rapaport. The Respondent appeared at the hearing and was represented by William J. Harte and Erik D. Gruber.

THE PLEADINGS

On May 21, 2009, the Administrator filed a two-count Complaint against the Respondent. An Amended Complaint containing nine counts was filed on July 14, 2009. Count I of the Amended Complaint alleges that Respondent breached a fiduciary duty, had a conflict of interest, and failed to reasonably explain a matter to a client. Counts II and VIII allege that Respondent filed false pleadings in bankruptcy matters. Count III alleges Respondent engaged in overreaching, exerting or attempting to exert undue influence, conflict of interest, dishonesty,

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and failed to reasonably explain a matter to a client. Counts IV, V, VI, VII, and IX allege that Respondent filed false liens, had a conflict of interest, and breached his fiduciary duty.

Respondent filed an Answer to the Amended Complaint on August 12, 2009, in which he admitted some of the factual allegations, denied others, and denied all of the allegations of misconduct.

THE EVIDENCE

The Administrator presented the testimony of 14 witnesses. The Administrator's Exhibits 1 through 12, 15 through 27, 29 through 47, 50 through 58, and 61 through 87 were admitted into evidence. The Respondent testified in his own behalf, and presented the testimony of 14 other witnesses. The Respondent's Exhibits 1 through 69, 72 through 89, 91, and 93 through 103 were admitted into evidence.

Rosa Gibson

Rosa Gibson testified that she resides at Rural Route 1, Carrollton, Illinois. That property consists of 55 acres, a house, and a mobile home. She resides in the mobile home. She was married to Ronald Gibson for 32 years. They obtained a divorce in December 2003 based upon the advice of the Respondent. The Gibson's never separated and were living together at the time of the hearing. However, they continue to live together. Rosa and Ronald purchased the 55-acre property in 1995 and started to build the house. They moved into the house in 2000, before it was fully completed. Their daughter Carla and Carla's husband, Jason Haydon, purchased the 55-acre property in 2005 and live in the house on the property. Rosa worked as a nurse for 30 years, but was unable to work after she was injured in 2004. (Tr. 413-17, 461-62, 464-65).

Several years ago, Rosa had accumulated a lot of debt, and in late 2003 she and Ronald consulted the Respondent about bankruptcy. Their first meeting with Respondent was on

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December 13, 2003, at his office in Auburn. Rosa said that she and Ronald became clients of the Respondent on that day. (Tr. 417-18, 440-42). They had another meeting with Respondent on December 23, 2003, at which she signed some documents. (Tr. 458-59).

Rosa said that at either the first or second meeting the Respondent told her and Ronald that they needed to get a divorce; that he would file a bankruptcy petition for Rosa; and then file a bankruptcy petition for Ronald. (Tr. 420, 461-62). The Respondent also told them that his fee would be $10,000 to "take care of everything." (Tr. 420, 428-29, 438). The Respondent indicated that "everything" meant Rosa's bankruptcy, their divorce, and Ronald's bankruptcy. (Tr. 438). When asked on cross-examination if Respondent told her the $10,000 was a retainer, Rosa replied "it wasn't a retainer. He said that was a fee." (Tr. 438-39). Rosa also testified that Respondent did not mention an hourly fee to them, and he did not tell them he might record a lien or memorandum of judgment to secure his fees. (Tr. 420, 439, 443). Rosa did not sign a written fee agreement. (Tr. 420, 443). Rosa and Ronald obtained $10,000 from Carla and Jason Haydon, and paid it to the Respondent. (Tr. 421, 454).

On December 26, 2003, Respondent filed a petition for dissolution of marriage on behalf of Ronald Gibson and against Rosa. (Adm. Ex. 6). The judgment of dissolution of marriage was entered on the same day. (Adm. Ex. 8). Rosa did not attend the court proceeding. (Tr. 448-49). Rosa said the Respondent did not explain that he represented Ronald, but not Rosa, in the dissolution proceeding. (Tr. 421). In fact, she said "I figured that Mr. Narmont was representing us both." (Tr. 451). Rosa also said the Respondent did not advise her that she could obtain separate counsel for the dissolution (Tr. 45-51); did not tell her that he had a conflict of interest in representing her in a bankruptcy and representing Ronald against her in the dissolution (Tr. 421); and did not mention anything about a "conflict of interest" (Tr. 421). Rosa acknowledged

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that she signed an "Entry of Appearance and Consent" (Adm. Ex. 7) and the "Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage (Adm. Ex.8; Tr. 450, 459). However, she explained that she did not recall reading those documents. (Tr. 450, 460-61).

Rosa and Ronald had a third meeting with Respondent "sometime in 2004." Their three daughters and Jason Heydon attended the third meeting. (Tr. 436-37).

On March 31, 2004, The Respondent filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition on behalf of Rosa. (Adm. Ex. 10; Resp. Ex. 22). Rosa acknowledged that she signed the petition, but said she did not recall having reviewed the document. On cross-examination, Rosa was asked about the page of her petition entitled "Disclosure of Compensation of Attorney for Debtor." (Adm. Ex. 10 at 30). She acknowledged that that page contains Respondent's signature and says he agreed to accept a fee of $600. (Tr. 445-46). Rosa also acknowledged that Paragraph 6 on the same page says that the "above fee includes filing fees, meetings with client, preparation of petition and work through the first meeting of creditors;" and that "additional time above that fee will be billed at regular hourly billable rate." (Tr. 446). She said she did not recall having previously read paragraph 6. (Tr. 447). When asked if she understood that Respondent was eligible to charge an hourly billing rate for work he did after the first meeting of creditors, Rosa responded "I don't recall him ever saying he had, what the fee would be." (Tr. 447).

Rosa and Ronald wanted the 55-acre property to stay in their family and, because of their bankruptcy filings, wanted to transfer the property to their daughters. In discussing the matter with their daughters, it was decided that their daughter Carla and her husband Jason Haydon would purchase the property. It was also decided that Carla and Jason would live in the house on the property, while Rosa and Ronald would live in the mobile home. (Tr. 426-28). They asked the Respondent to prepare the paperwork for the transfer of title. (Tr. 428). Rosa signed the

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document entitled "Warranty Deed in Trust, dated December 23, 2003 (Adm. Ex. 4; Resp. Ex. 8), but did not recall what the document was about or why it was created. (Tr. 423-24; 455-56).

On April 7, 2005, Rosa, Ronald, their daughters, and Jason attended a meeting at the Respondent's office in Springfield. The purpose of the meeting was for the family members to sign documents so that Carla and Jason Haydon could purchase the 55-acre property. (Tr. 426, 429, 452). Rosa said the Respondent was at the meeting for a "short time" and addressed the family members. He then left, and his secretary passed around documents to be signed. (Tr. 429-31). One document Rosa signed was an "Assignment of Beneficial Interest." (Adm. Ex. 19; Resp. Ex. 5; Tr. 429, 452). Carla and Jason Haydon signed an "Acceptance by Assignee" at that meeting. (Adm. Ex. 19 at 2; Resp. Ex. 4). Jason noticed that the Acceptance document referred to paying outstanding attorney's fees of $6,350.50, and commented that "it was supposed to have been included in the $10,000 fee [previously paid to Respondent]." (Tr. 431, 454-55). Rosa said that the Respondent did not discuss his fees in front of Jason; did not mention that he was owed additional attorney's fees; and did not mention that he had prepared a document that made Carla and Jason responsible for paying the Respondent additional attorney's fees. (Tr. 430-31, 454).

Finally, Rosa said she was not aware of any harm she suffered as the result of the lien the Respondent placed on the 55-acre property. She added that the Respondent's actions did cause stress for her and Ronald. (Tr. 457, 465-66).

Ronald Gibson

Ronald Gibson testified that he lives with Rosa Gibson in a mobile home located on a 55-acre property in rural Carrollton. He and Rosa were previously married, and were divorced in 2003. (Tr. 349-50).

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In 1995, Ronald purchased the 55-acre property. He said he spent $170,000 to purchase the property and to build a house on it. The land itself cost $55,000. The house was completed in "2000 something." Ronald voiced the opinion that the value of the house and property is about $225,000. He had a mortgage at the Bank of Calhoun. (Tr. 351-55, 385-87).

In 2003, Ronald retired. Rosa, who was a nurse, owed "quite a bit of money" on her credit cards, and they decided to file bankruptcy. (Tr. 350, 355-56). In late 2003, Ronald went to the Respondent's office and discussed the Gibsons' financial problems with the Respondent. The Respondent suggested that Ronald and Rosa get a divorce; that Respondent would file a bankruptcy for Rosa; and that Respondent would file a different bankruptcy for Ronald. (Tr. 356-58, 370-73, 375). According to Ronald, the Respondent said that a fee of $10,000 "would take care of everything" and that he had to be paid "up front." The Gibsons obtained the $10,000 from their daughter Carla and her husband Jason Haydon, and paid the Respondent. (Tr. 358-59, 373-75).

Ronald also testified that the Respondent did not mention charging an hourly fee, and never said anything about recording a lien or judgment to secure his attorney's fees. (Tr. 359, 375). Ronald did not recall if there was a written fee agreement. (Tr. 359-60, 389).

The Respondent represented Ronald in his divorce proceeding against Rosa. The Respondent did not mention any conflict of interest by being Ronald's attorney in the divorce and being Rosa's attorney in her bankruptcy case. Also, the Respondent did not tell Ronald that his and Rosa's legal interests were in conflict. (Tr. 360-61).

In 2004, the Respondent filed a Chapter 12 bankruptcy petition for Ronald. Ronald said he did not recall if he read the petition. (Tr. 361-63). Later, Ronald stopped his bankruptcy case. (Tr. 380).

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In late 2004 or early 2005, Ronald and Rosa realized that they could not take care of the house on the 55-acre property, and decided to move to the mobile home on the property. They then offered the property to their three daughters, Carla, Veronica, and Jaime. Veronica and Jamie did not want the property, and it was then given to Carla and Jason Haydon. (Tr. 363-64). Ronald went to the Respondent to have the paperwork for the property transfer prepared. (Tr. 364-65). Ronald acknowledged that he signed the "Assignment of Beneficial Interest and Acceptance by Assignee" document, dated April 7, 2005 (Adm. Ex. 19), but did not recall where the signing took place. (Tr. 365). Ronald said that the Respondent never mentioned anything about Carla and Jason being responsible for attorney fees. (Tr. 366). Ronald did not know until the time he was ready to transfer the property to Carla and Jason that the Respondent had a lien on the property. (Tr. 367, 369).

Ronald acknowledged that he received monthly statements from the Respondent, and that he burned the statements. He explained that "I didn't owe him nothing. I done already paid him what I owed up front, $10,000." (Tr. 378-80, 388-89). When asked if he lost any money as a result of Respondent's actions, Ronald said "not that I know of." (Tr. 382).

Carla Haydon

Carla Haydon testified that she is employed as a dental clinic clerk at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental medicine. She lives with her husband Jason in the house located on the 55-acre property previously owned by her parents, Ronald and Rosa Gibson. Ronald and Rosa live in a mobile home on the same property. She said she believes the property is worth $200,000. (Tr. 470-74).

Carla was aware that her parents had financial problems in 2003 and hired the Respondent. In late 2003, Carla attended a meeting with her parents at the Respondent's office

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in Springfield. Jason and Carla's sister Jamie were also present. At the meeting, the Respondent said he would take care of matters for $10,000. She did not recall Respondent saying what "matters" were included in the fee. She said that the Respondent did not mention an hourly fee or that he might record a lien or judgment to secure legal fees. Carla and Jason provided the $10,000 to her parents for the Respondent's attorney's fees. (Tr. 476-78, 480, 487-91).

Carla, her parents, and her two sisters had discussions about the 55-acre property. They decided that Carla and her husband, Jason, would purchase the property, and her parents would live in the mobile home on the property. Ronald Gibson was still in a Chapter 12 bankruptcy proceeding at that time. On April 7, 2005, the family members attended a meeting at the Respondent's office in Springfield. The purpose of the meeting was to sign documents the Respondent prepared pertaining to Carla and Jason taking over the 55-acre property. The Respondent spoke to them briefly, and then a secretary passed out papers for them to sign. Carla and Jason signed a document entitled "Acceptance by Assignee." (Adm. Ex. 19; Resp. Ex. 4). The secretary told them to file the document at the United Community Bank of Chatham. After she signed the document, she noticed that the last paragraph contained a commitment by Carla and Jason to pay $6,350.50 in attorney's fees to the Respondent. She assumed the $6,350.50 was coming out of the $10,000 "because he had told us $10,000 was going to take care of everything." She and Jason did not file the document at the bank. She called the Respondent's office the following day and explained that the document was not filed because "we didn't owe that money." She also requested an itemized bill from the Respondent. She received a bill, which did not reflect an hourly fee. (Tr. 477-84, 491-95, 497).

Carla said the Respondent did not tell her that he was owed additional legal fees; he did not ask if he could include in the Acceptance by Assignee document a commitment by Carla and

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Jason to pay legal fees to him; and he did not mention that he had prepared a document that committed Carla and Jason to pay additional attorney's fees to Respondent. (Tr. 481). Carla further stated that the subject of her and Jason paying attorney's fees to Respondent was never discussed and she never agreed to do so. (Tr. 479, 484, 494).

A few weeks after the meeting on April 7, 2005, Carla accompanied Ronald to the Respondent's office. Ronald informed the Respondent that he (Ronald) wanted out of the bankruptcy proceeding. The matter of attorney's fees was not discussed at this meeting. (Tr. 485-86, 498-500).

Veronica Gibson

Veronica Gibson testified that she is an LPN and nursing supervisor at Illini Medical Associates in Alton. She resides in Carrollton. Ronald and Rosa Gibson are her parents. (Tr. 213-14).

In 2003, Ronald and Rosa had financial problems, which they discussed with Veronica and her sisters, Carla Haydon and Jamie White. Ronald and Rosa decided to consult with the Respondent regarding a bankruptcy. (Tr. 2 15). Veronica accompanied Ronald and Rosa to a meeting at the Respondent's office in Springfield. Carla and Jamie were also present. Veronica did not recall if Jason Haydon was present. (Tr. 215-16, 219-20, 240). Ronald and Rosa explained their financial problems, which included more debts of Rosa than of Ronald. The Respondent told them that they needed to get a divorce, set up a trust, and then file bankruptcy. (Tr. 216-17). The Respondent indicated that people would need to sign some documents in the future. (Tr. 224). Veronica said that the Respondent also told them that he "would take care of everything" for a fee of $10,000. He did not mention that there would be any additional charges,

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and did not mention an hourly fee. (Tr. 217-18, 220, 223). Also, the Respondent did not mention recording a lien or judgment to secure his attorney's fees. (Tr. 218).

Veronica did not recall the date of the first meeting she attended at the Respondent's office. (Tr. 222, 237-39). She did recall that she attended a second meeting on April 7, 2005. Ronald, Rosa, Jamie, Carla and Jason were also present at this meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to sign documents. The Respondent addressed them "very briefly" at the start of the meeting and then left the room. (Tr. 240). Then various papers were pushed around the table for the family members to sign. She did not recall what all the documents were. However, she signed a document (Resp. Ex. 5) giving up any rights in the property where her parents lived, so that Carla and Jason could purchase it. (Tr. 224, 228-30).

Veronica was asked if Jason Haydon said anything about the $6,350.50 set out in the last paragraph of Respondent's Exhibit 4. She replied that "it seems that he had a question about an amount of a fee but it seems maybe we thought that that was something included and this was like a breakdown of that $10,000" previously paid to the Respondent. (Tr. 230-31).

Jason Haydon

Jason Haydon testified that his wife Carla is the daughter of Ronald and Rosa Gibson. Jason is employed as an operating engineer at a Conoco-Phillips refinery. Since April 2006, he and Carla have resided in a house on a 55-acre property in rural Carrollton. The property was previously owned by Ronald and Rosa. Ronald and Rosa live in a mobile home on the property. Jason voiced the opinion that the property, including the house, is worth about $300,000. (Tr. 167-73, 193-94).

In late 2003, Ronald and Rosa had financial difficulties and decided to consult with the Respondent about bankruptcy. Jason was present at a meeting with Ronald, Rosa and the

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Respondent in Springfield. Carla and her two sisters were also present. At this meeting, the Respondent said he would take care of a bankruptcy for Rosa. He also told Ronald and Rosa "they needed to get a divorce" so that the property in Carrollton would not be touched by Rosa's bankruptcy. The Respondent was also going to prepare a trust in which the three sisters would be beneficiaries. The Respondent told them his fee was $10,000 "to take care of everything, the divorce, the bankruptcy [of Rosa], and the trust." The Respondent did not mention an hourly rate for fees, and did not mention anything about recording a lien or judgment. (Tr. 173-77, 179, 192, 194). Ronald and Rosa did not have $10,000 for the Respondent's fee. Thus, Jason and Carla obtained a loan for $10,000, and the money was then used to pay the Respondent. (Tr. 178. 208).

Jason attended a second meeting at the Respondent's office on April 7, 2005. The purpose of the meeting was to sign documents. The Respondent met with the Gibson family for "about two or three minutes" and told them to sign documents. When Respondent left the room, a secretary brought in a packet of documents. (Tr. 179-83). Jason said he was reading the documents as he was signing them. He noticed that the document entitled "Acceptance by Assignee" (Adm. Ex. 19 at 2; Resp. Ex. 4) referred to an outstanding fee balance of $6,350.50 owed to the Respondent, for which Jason and Carla accepted responsibility. Jason said he "had no idea what that meant," but thought the $6,350.50 "was coming out of the $10,000 that we agreed to at the [previous meeting]." Jason also said that he did not think he and Carla owed attorney's fees to Respondent. He acknowledged that he did not attempt to ask the Respondent about this matter. (Tr. 183-86, 201-08, 211-12).

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Nelson Aumann

Mr. Aumann testified that he is a licensed real estate appraiser and an Illinois Farm Development Authority Farmland Appraiser. He mentioned his background and overall qualifications. (Tr. 565-67; Resp. Ex. 102 at 17).

In July 2004, Mr. Aumann did an appraisal of Ronald Gibson's 55-acre property at Rural Route 1, Carrollton. Mr. Gibson paid for the appraisal. Mr. Aumann concluded that the estimated market value of the property was $112,500. The land had a value of $55,000, which is $1,000 per acre, and the house had a depreciated value of $57,520. (Resp. Ex. 102 at 1, 12). He appraised the value of the mobile home on the property at $6,000. (Tr. 367-73).

Yvonne Houston

Ms. Houston testified that she has been a full-time legal secretary in the Respondent's office since 2000. (Tr. 611).

On Saturday, December 13, 2003, she was in the Respondent's office in Auburn and observed the Respondent meeting with Ronald and Rosa Gibson. A younger lady was sitting near them. Ms. Houston was not part of the meeting, but she overheard the Respondent say that a divorce needed to be done quickly. She said she also heard the Respondent mention a bankruptcy and say something about his hourly fees. (Tr. 611-15).

John Lovekamp

Mr. Lovekamp testified that he resides in Christian County. He was previously married to Frances Lovekamp. They were divorced about two and one-half years ago. (Tr. 101-02).

In late 2002 or early 2003, he and Frances retained the Respondent to file a bankruptcy petition for them. The agreement regarding attorney fees was that the Lovekamps would pay a lump sum up front. Mr. Lovekamp said he did not recall the Respondent mentioning an hourly

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rate. (Tr. 103, 106, 108). The Respondent did not mention anything about recording a lien or judgment to secure his attorney fees. (Tr. 103).

Mr. Lovekamp said that this is the first time he has seen the memorandum of judgment recorded against him and Frances by the Respondent. (Adm. Ex. 41). He was first told about it by someone from the ARDC. (Tr. 104, 111).

When asked if the memorandum of judgment had any affect on him, Mr. Lovekamp said he became engaged about two years ago, applied for credit to buy a ring, and was denied credit. His ex-wife told him she had applied for a loan to purchase a home, and found out there was a memorandum of judgment on their credit reports. (Tr. 105, 113-15).

On cross-examination, Mr. Lovekamp acknowledged that he signed the bankruptcy petition (Resp. Ex. 40). He was asked if saw the page in the petition pertaining to the disclosure of compensation of debtors' attorney (Resp. Ex. 39). He responded that "I had to have seen it but I'm not sure." The disclosure page stated that Respondent agreed to accept $8,230, and such fee "includes meeting with the client and work on the petition through he first meeting of creditors, any additional time is billed at the regular hourly rate." (Tr. 108-10). Mr. Lovekamp was also asked if he knew there was going to be additional fees for work by Respondent after the first meeting of creditors, and he responded "[a]ll I know is we were told to pay the amount up front and if there were any additional small charges after that over or under they would be settled at that time and that was verbally what we were told." (Tr. 109).

Finally, Mr. Lovekamp said he was not told that the memorandum of judgment was released. However, the Respondent never contacted him regarding any collection on the memorandum of judgment. (Tr. 115-16).

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Rosemary Bagley

Rosemary Bagley testified that she resides in Macoupin County and has worked for the Southwestern School District for 24 years. She was married to Jeff Bagley, who passed away in August 2009. The Bagleys owned Bagley Farms, Inc. Jeff was president, and Rosemary was secretary. Bagley Farm, Inc. is still in operation, with her son doing the farming. (Tr. 151-54).

In 2004, Mr. And Mrs. Bagley retained the Respondent to file a bankruptcy proceeding for them as individuals. They also retained him to file a bankruptcy proceeding for Bagley Farms, Inc. There was a separate fee agreement for each proceeding. Mrs. Bagley said she did not recall any agreement that allowed the Respondent to record a lien or judgment to secure his fees. (Tr. 154-55).

Both fee agreements with Respondent provided for a flat rate first, and then, after so many hours, an hourly rate. She said she did not know at what point the hourly rate was to start or the amount of the hourly rate. The hourly rate was not reached in their individual bankruptcy proceeding, but was reached in the bankruptcy proceeding for Bagley Farms, Inc. (Tr. 158-59).

On June 30, 2005, the Respondent recorded a memorandum of judgment against Bagley Farms, Inc. in Macoupin County by (Adm. Ex. 51). Mrs. Bagley was not informed of the recording, but only learned of it a "little over a year ago." She called the Macoupin County Recorder's office recently and learned that the memorandum of judgment was released in September 2010. (Tr. 155-57, 165-66).

On cross-examination, Mrs. Bagley was asked if she suffered any harm form the Respondent's recording of the memorandum of judgment. She replied "no, because we kept our bills paid but we could have been." (Tr. 165).

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Tony Myers

Mr. Myers testified that he currently resides in Metropolis, Illinois, and is employed as an eye care advisor for Lens Crafters. He was previously married to Darlene Myers. They were divorced in October 2005 while they were living in Morrisonville, Christian County, Illinois. (Tr. 83-84).

In December 2003, Tony and Darlene retained the Respondent to file a bankruptcy petition on their behalf. The fee agreement did not provide that Respondent could record a lien or judgment to secure legal fees. Also, Respondent did not ask permission to record such a lien or memorandum of judgment, and he did not inform Tony that he had done so. (Tr. 83-85). About 60 days prior to this hearing, Tony learned from someone at the ARDC that Respondent had recorded a memorandum of judgment in Christian County against Tony and Darlene in June 2005. (Tr. 85, 89; Adm. Ex. 61).

On cross-examination, Mr. Myers acknowledged that he signed his bankruptcy petition, that the petition disclosed payment of $10,000 in attorney fees, and that "additional time above that will be billed at the regular hourly billable rate." (Resp. Exs. 61, 62). The memorandum of judgment recorded by Respondent (Adm. Ex. 61; Resp. Ex. 67) stated that Respondent was owed $10,302.25. Mr. Myers said he only owed $302.25 because he had already paid $10,000 to Respondent. (Tr. 86-89).

When asked on cross-examination if the recording of the memorandum of judgment by Respondent caused any problems, Mr. Myers said "my ex-wife tried to refinance the house to take my name off of it and she according to her credit report or whatever reason the bank gave her could not refinance the house so my name is still on the original mortgage." He then

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acknowledged that he did not "know" that the memorandum of judgment had anything to do with that situation. (Tr. 89-90).

The Myers bankruptcy petition went from a Chapter 12 to a Chapter 11, and then back to a Chapter 12. Mr. Myers identified Respondent's Exhibit 63 as an application by Respondent for fees, which included "all charges from the Chapter 11 and both Chapter 12s of $2,322.50." (Tr. 91-92). When he received Exhibit 63, Mr. Myers called the Respondent and asked why they owed $2,322.50. Mr. Myers explained that the original Chapter 12 should have been filed in December 2003, but that Respondent didn't file it until 2004 when Congress had rescinded the Chapter 12 option. Thus, Mr. Myers told Respondent that it was not the Myers' responsibility to pay extra money because Respondent failed to timely file the original Chapter 12 petition. Ultimately, Respondent reduced his fee. (Tr. 93-97).

Finally, Mr. Myers said that he received another petition for approval of attorney fees, dated April 25, 2004, which was filed by the Respondent. (Tr. 99; Resp. Ex. 65).

Kathleen Frontone

Ms. Frontone testified that she resides in Logan County and is employed as an educator at the Logan Correctional Center. She was married to John Frontone, who passed away in November 2008. (Tr. 117-18).

In 2002, the Frontones retained the Respondent to file a bankruptcy petition on their behalf. They entered into a fee agreement, and paid the Respondent $600. She said she did not believe the agreement referred to any hourly rate for fees. The Respondent did not inform the Frontones that he could or would record a lien or judgment against them to secure his fees. (Tr. 118-19, 122-23).

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A memorandum of judgment was recorded against the Frontones by the Respondent on June 30, 2005 (Adm. Ex. 69). Ms. Frontone said that Respondent did not tell them he was going to record or had recorded the memorandum of judgment. She learned of it "last summer." Recently, she telephoned the Logan County Recorder's office and learned that the memorandum of judgment was released on September 20, 1010. (Tr. 119-21, 133-34).

On cross-examination, Ms. Frontone acknowledged that she received a copy of her Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition that was filed by the Respondent. When asked if she recalled receiving the page pertaining to the disclosure of compensation to the debtors' attorney (Resp. Ex. 72), she replied "I don't know." (Tr. 121-22). Ms. Frontone further acknowledged that the Respondent also filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition for the Frontones, for which Respondent received $1,685 (Resp. Ex. 73). (Tr. 123-25).

Finally, Ms. Frontone was asked on cross-examination whether she was harmed by the memorandum of judgment having been filed. She replied "obviously I've been harmed by my credit report and I wondered why and I believe this is why." She went on to explain that when she purchased a car, she was charged the highest interest rate possible because of her credit report. The only thing she was aware of on her credit report was the bankruptcy and the memorandum of judgment. (Tr. 134-36).

Russell Reed

Russell Reed testified that he is an attorney and a partner in the Hinshaw & Culbertson law firm. He has worked in the firm's Springfield office for 23 years. (Tr. 512).

In February 2008, Mr. Reed met with the Respondent and the Respondent's paralegal, Billie, in regard to filing a bankruptcy petition. At the meeting, he gave them a memo he had received from Hinshaw & Culbertson when he borrowed money from his pension plan. (Adm.

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Ex. 86). He was concerned about publicity if he filed bankruptcy and the possibility of losing his job. He discussed his concerns with the Respondent. The Respondent told him that as long as Mr. Reed made payments under the bankruptcy plan, the payments "wouldn't have to affect my paycheck and that since I borrowed from myself, basically my own retirement fund, they [Hinshaw & Culbertson] wouldn't have to know or, I can't remember exactly what he said, whether he said I don't think they'll have to know but he made me feel better." Mr. Reed did not discuss with the Respondent how the two loans from the accounts at Hinshaw & Culbertson would be scheduled in the petition or how notices related to those loans would be handled. (Tr. 513-17, 528, 530, 535).

The Respondent or his paralegal asked Mr. Reed to review and sign the bankruptcy petition. (Adm. Ex. 71). Mr. Reed said he reviewed the petition at the Respondent's office, but did not read every page. He trusted the Respondent to prepare an accurate petition. While reviewing the petition, he did not notice that the two loans with Hinshaw & Culbertson were listed in care of the Respondent and at the Respondent's address. (Adm. Ex. 71 at 16). Mr. Reed said he did not direct the Respondent to list Hinshaw & Culbertson in that manner, and the Respondent did not mention that he had done so. (Tr. 518-19, 527-30).

Mr. Reed attended a creditors meeting with the Respondent. No creditors appeared, and no objection was raised. The trustee did not ask any questions about the Respondent's name and address being listed on Schedule D on behalf of Hinsaw & CulbertsoN. (Tr. 532-34). Mr. Reed was informed that a confirmation hearing was to be held on June 24, 2008, but he did not attend. Shortly after that hearing, Mr. Reed spoke with Billie, the Respondent's paralegal, and was informed there was a problem and his case was dismissed. He also learned, for the first time, that

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Respondent had scheduled the Hinshaw & Culbertson loans using the Respondent's address. Mr. Reed said he was "surprised and upset." (Tr. 519-21).

Mr. Reed retained different counsel and refiled a bankruptcy petition under Chapter 11. He understood that he did not qualify for a Chapter 13 because of the amount of priority claims. He identified Administrator's Exhibit 87 as a copy of Schedule D from his refiled petition, which listed his pension loans from Hinshaw & CulbertsoN. The two loans listed in the refiled petition are the same loans that were listed in the petition prepared by the Respondent. (Adm. Ex. 71 at 16). He said he attended all of the hearings in his refiled bankruptcy because "I thought based on what happened at the last one that I should just be there every time in case there were any questions." (Tr. 521-22, 524-27).

Finally, Mr. Reed was asked about the impact that the Respondent's representation has had on him. Mr. Reed said there was a newspaper article, "primarily because of this [disciplinary] proceeding," that "made it sound like Mr. Narmont and I were trying to do something sneaky and that was the way it was written and it was just wrong.". (Tr. 522-23, 230, 235-36).

Billie Gordon

Billie Gordon testified that she has been employed as a legal assistant and legal secretary in the Respondent's office for five years. (Tr. 748).

Ms. Gordon said she was present when Russell Reed reviewed his bankruptcy petition. (Adm. Ex. 71). She said he came to Respondent's office on three consecutive days, March 3, 4 and 5, 2008. On the first day, he went over the petition and wanted some changes made. The changes were made, and Mr. Reed returned the next day. There were a few more corrections to

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be made. Mr. Reed returned the third day, reviewed the petition, and found it acceptable. (Tr. 748-50).

Ms. Gordon said that she and Mr. Reed went through his petition "page by page." She also said Mr. Reed was aware that the Respondent's address was listed on Schedule D of the petition. She explained to him that "the money was owed to him so we put it to our address," and Mr. Reed "didn't have a problem with it." (Tr. 750-51, 753-54).

J. William Roberts

Mr. Roberts testified that he has been the managing partner for the Hinshaw and Culbertson law firm since 1997. He is also the partner in charge of the firm's Springfield office. (Tr. 72-73, 79).

Prior to June 24, 2008, he was not aware that Russell Reed, a lawyer in the Springfield office, had filed a petition for bankruptcy. Additionally, he said that to the best of his knowledge the law firm had not received notice of such a bankruptcy proceeding. (Tr. 73-74, 79-80).

Mary Gorman

Judge Gorman testified that she has been a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of Illinois since 2005. She hears all bankruptcy cases in the Springfield Division. (Tr. 339-41). Judge Gorman presided at the confirmation hearing on June 24, 2008, in the Russell Reed bankruptcy matter, at which she announced she would dismiss the bankruptcy petition. No motion for reconsideration of her decision to dismiss the case was filed. (Tr. 341-42).

Judge Gorman was asked the hypothetical question of whether a debtor in Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings must provide notice to his employer or plan administrator if the debtor proposed a plan that allows him to repay loans he has obtained form his employer sponsored

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pension account. Judge Gorman replied "the bankruptcy rules require under Rule 1007 that every asset and liability including the name and address of the creditor to whom every liability is owed is included in a debtor's schedules." (Tr. 344-45).

John Swartz

John Swartz testified that he is an attorney and has been a Chapter 7 trustee since 1992. As trustee, he administers the bankruptcy case. For example, he receives and reviews various documents, and conducts the meeting of creditors. He generally handles from 600 to 1,000cases each year. (Tr. 279-81).

Mr. Swartz was the trustee in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings for Rosa Gibson. The petition filed by Rosa contained the various forms and schedules as required by bankruptcy rules. (Adm. Ex. 10; Resp. Ex. 22). In the Statement of Financial Affairs section of the petition, at item 7, the debtor is required to disclose gifts exceeding $200 made within one year of the filing. (Adm. Ex. 10 at 4). He explained that gifts might constitute fraudulent transfers of property, and the Chapter 7 trustee would have authority to sue to recover the property. Generally, when a debtor indicates that there was a gift, the trustee requests details, depending on the level of details supplied in the petition. (Tr. 282-83). The petition, at item 10, also requires disclosure of other transfers of property within one year of the filing. (Adm. Ex. 10 at 4). There can be an overlap between item 7 and item 10. (Tr. 284-85).

The meeting of creditors in Rosa Gibson's case took place on May 3, 2004. On the same date, Mr. Swartz determined that there was nothing to collect or try to liquidate to pay creditors. He prepared a report of no assets and no distribution. (Tr. 285-86). In reaching his conclusions, he relied on the information in Rosa Gibson's petition. (Tr. 286-87).

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Mr. Swartz was asked whether a debtor is excused from disclosing a transfer under item 7 or 10 of the bankruptcy petition (Adm. Ex. 10 at 4) if the transfer was a gift or conveyance of real estate and the debtor believes she has little or no equity in the property. He responded that the transfer is to be disclosed because it is "not the debtor's prerogative to determine whether there's equity for the benefit of creditors at all, that's a determination that I'm supposed to make." (Tr. 287-88, 301-02). He further explained that, if there is a transfer of real estate with multiple liens that may exceed the value of the property, he "would want to see a greater itemization of exactly what the liens were, their nature, and extent." (Tr. 297).

At meetings of creditors, Mr. Swartz asks a prescribed set of questions, as required by the United States Trustee's office. At Rosa Gibson's creditors meeting, he would have asked her about any gifts, sales, or transfers. If she had informed him that she had transferred an interest in property to a trust, he would have requested more information about it and "would typically want to see the trust documents." (Tr. 296, 303, 305, 307-08).

In regard to the Russell Reed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Mr. Swartz was the trustee and reviewed the petition, after it was converted from a Chapter 11. (Adm. Ex. 71). Schedule D of the petition (Adm. Ex. 71 at 16) listed the Hinshaw & Culbertson law firm as a secured creditor in regard to the installment loan 4/2005 and installment loan 11/2007. According to Reed's petition, the employment contract mandated repayment of the installment loans. Mr. Swartz said he did not notice at the time that the address listed for Hinshaw & Culbertson was the mailing address of the Respondent, who was the debtor's attorney. (Tr. 311, 327) When asked if it was necessary to give Hinshaw & Culbertson notice of the bankruptcy petition, Mr. Swartz said Mr. Reed was "obligated to give notice to everybody that he thinks he owes money to." (Tr. 313). He further stated that, if Mr. Reed's debt involved only his own 401(k) plan, he may not have

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had to give notice to Hinshaw & CulbertsoN. In such a situation, the item may not need to be listed on Schedule D, but it should, at least, appear on Schedule I or J, the income and expenditure schedules. (Tr. 314-17).

Michael D. Clark

Mr. Clark testified that he is a Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 trustee in bankruptcy within the Central District of Illinois. He has held that position for 23 years. In his capacity as trustee, he is in charge of administering bankruptcy cases. (Tr. 138-39, 143).

Mr. Clark explained the various types of bankruptcies. Chapter 7 is a liquidating form of bankruptcy, in which the debtor's assets are liquidated. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor reorganizes and tries to pay back creditors, often in order to save a house or car. A Chapter 12 bankruptcy is similar to a Chapter 13, but is for family farmers and fishermen. Also, the debt limit for a Chapter 12 is higher than for a Chapter 13. The goal in a Chapter 12 is generally to keep a farm in operation. (Tr. 139-42).

Within the Central District of Illinois, there are only about four attorneys who have handled a Chapter 12 bankruptcy. The Respondent is one of the four. Generally, an attorney who files a Chapter 12 Bankruptcy needs to understand the complexities of a farming operation, and most practitioners do not. The Respondent has filed about 30 to 35 Chapter 12 bankruptcies. (Tr. 143-46).

Finally, Mr. Clark said that the court sends notices to debtors in regard to hearings on petitions for attorney fees. (Tr. 149-50).

Larry Lessen

Retired Bankruptcy Judge Lessen testified by evidence deposition. (Resp. Ex. 103). He served as a bankruptcy judge in the Central District of Illinois for 33 years, and is now retired.

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Judge Lessen said that the Respondent "practiced a great deal of bankruptcy law" and appeared before him "with regularity." Judge Lessen estimated that Respondent filed between 300 and 400 bankruptcy cases each year. (Resp. Ex. 103 at 6-8, 29-30).

Judge Lessen identified petitions for attorney's fees (Resp. Exs. 55, 84) and orders approving attorney's fees he entered (Resp. Exs. 42, 56, 64, 78, 85) in bankruptcy cases handled by Respondent. He also identified some memorandums of judgment (Resp. Exs. 54, 67, 79, 86, 103 at 11-25). In one order approving attorney's fees the word "judgment" appears (Resp. Ex. 85), whereas in another order the word "judgment" does not appear (Resp. Ex. 56). Judge Lessen said he did not know why the language in the orders is different, but said "I don't think the result is different," and "these orders have the same effect." (Resp. Ex. 103 at 23-25).

Judge Lessen explained that when bankruptcy cases are drawn out attorneys often seek interim fees, that is a partial payment of fees before a case is confirmed or a discharge is issued. He also stated that a petition for interim fees becomes a petition for final fees when the confirmation of the bankruptcy is entered because at that point it becomes a final, appealable order. Thus, interim orders for attorney's fees are judgments once they become final and appealable. (Resp. Ex. 103 at 9-10, 27).

Kathleen Baird

Ms. Baird testified that she worked in the Respondent's law office from the spring of 2000 until July 2007. She was the Respondent's secretary, did billing, and prepared documents at his request. (Tr. 42).

Ms. Baird prepared applications for approval of attorney fees in Bankruptcy Court for the Respondent (Adm. Exs. 15, 39, 67; Resp. Exs. 11, 13, 41, 55, 84), and the orders approving the fees (Adm. Exs. 16, 40, 68; Resp. Exs. 12, 45, 85). She also prepared memorandums of

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judgment (Adm. Exs. 29, 41, 69; Resp. Exs. 17, 43, 68). She said she prepared the documents at the direction of the Respondent. After she prepared documents, she gave them to the Respondent for his review. When asked if the Respondent ever told her a document needed to be corrected, Ms. Baird replied yes. (Tr. 43-45, 52-65).

Ms. Baird acknowledged that there were some mistakes on some of the documents she prepared. For example, sometimes the amounts in the billing records did not match the amounts in the applications for fees. (Tr. 59-63). She also said she inputed the Respondent's time in the billing system based upon the Respondent's dictation. (Tr. 69).

Timothy Mix

Mr. Mix testified that he has been employed as a legal secretary at the Respondent's law firm for about nine years. He meets with clients and prepares documents for the Respondent. When he meets with a bankruptcy client, he obtains information regarding assets, liabilities and income. He writes the information he receives on a blank bankruptcy petition. (Tr. 544-45).

Mr. Mix first met Ronald and Rosa Gibson on December 13, 2003 at a meeting with the Respondent. The Gibsons' three daughters were also present. The Gibsons filled out a client input sheet (Resp. Ex. 1), and Mr. Mix wrote information he received from the Gibsons on a bankruptcy petition. (Resp. Ex. 24B). On the first page of the petition, Mr. Mix wrote "farming" as the type of business. In Schedule A, he wrote a description of the Gibsons' real property, that it had a value of $120,000, and that there was a secured claim in the amount of $103,000. Mr. Mix obtained the foregoing information from the Gibbons. (Tr. 546-51, 557-58).

At a meeting with the Gibsons on December 23, 2003, the Respondent recommended that they get a divorce; Rosa file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy; Ronald file a Chapter 12 bankruptcy; and

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that they create a land trust. The trust was to protect the Gibsons' 55-acre property from attachment by creditors. (Tr. 547).

Mr. Mix identified receipts from the Respondent's law office showing that certain clients had made payments. (Resp. Exs. 2B, 37B, 47B, 47C, 73B, and 73C). The receipts pertained to Ronald Gibson, John Lovekamp, Jeff Bagley, and Kathy Frontone, respectively. The clients signed the receipts, and each receipt stated that the Respondent's hourly rate for services was $175 and the hourly rate for a paralegal or legal assistant was $75.00. (Tr. 551-57).

The Respondent

The Respondent testified that he was born in 1942, grew up in Auburn, Illinois, and currently resides at Rural Route Auburn. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1964, and from the University of Illinois, School of Law in 1967. After being admitted to the practice of law in Illinois in 1967, he worked at the law firm of Giffin, Winning, Lender & Cohen. He was an associate for 5 years and then a partner for 5 years. In about 1977, he opened his own law firm. He has remained a sole practitioner, but has a "lot of assistants." He has an office in Springfield and in Auburn. His practice is primarily in the areas of bankruptcy, divorce, wills, and property issues. He has been married to his wife Sandra for about 32 years. (Tr. 572-83, 616).

The Respondent testified about his various volunteer charitable and community activities. (Tr. 682-99). He referred to several exhibits that documented his volunteer activities. (Resp. Exs. 94-99).

Counts I -IV (The Gibson Matters)

The Respondent said he first met Ronald and Rosa Gibson at his Auburn office on December 13, 2003. One of their daughters was also present. Yvonne Houston was present

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during part of the conversation. (Tr. 583-84). The Gibsons told him they were having financial difficulties, primarily due to Rosa's credit card debt, and were interested in filing bankruptcy. They owned a 55-acre farm on which there was a house and a mobile home. There was a mortgage on the farm and an outstanding debt on the mobile home. It was important to them to save the farm. (Tr. 584-87). The Respondent recommended that Ronald file a Chapter 12 bankruptcy; Rosa file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy; that they get divorced; and that they transfer title to the 55-acre property into a land trust. (Tr. 588-95, 726). The Respondent said he told them to go home, think about what they talked about, discuss it with their family, and return in a week. (Tr. 594).

On December 20, 2003, Ronald and Rosa met again with Respondent. At least one of their daughters was also present. They brought various documents, such as tax returns and a list of debts. They decided to go forward with the matters recommended by the Respondent. (Tr. 594-96, 627). The Respondent acknowledged that, prior to December 23, 2003, he agreed to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition for Rosa. (Tr. 720-21).

The Respondent said that at his first meeting with clients he would indicate the amount of money he would require "up front as a retainer or advance fee," and that "everything would be calculated on an hourly basis." He would then periodically send billing statements to clients. (Tr. 648-49). He received an initial payment of $10,239 from Ronald and Rosa Gibson on December 26, 2003. (Resp. Ex. 2B). That payment was to "start up the bankruptcy proceedings, to start up the trust, [and] to start up the divorce." (Tr. 744). The Respondent prepared the paperwork for the trust and divorce before Christmas in 2003. (Tr. 596). On March 22, 2004, he filed the Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition for Ronald (Resp. Ex. 23, Adm. Ex. 12), and on March

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31, 2004, he filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition for Rosa (Resp. Ex. 22; Adm. Ex. 10). Ronald's bankruptcy was converted to a Chapter 12 on November 3, 2004. (Adm. Ex. 11 at 12).

The Respondent said he represented Ronald in the dissolution of marriage proceeding against Rosa. Rosa "opted not to" have an attorney. (Tr. 596). The Respondent prepared the Petition for Dissolution, which was signed by Ronald on December 23, 2003. (Resp. Ex. 36; Adm. Ex. 6). The Respondent also prepared an Entry of Appearance and Consent, by which Rosa agreed to go forward without an attorney. Rosa signed this document on December 23, 2003. (Resp. Ex. 35; Adm. Ex. 7). The Respondent also prepared the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, which was signed by both Ronald and Rosa on December 23, 2003. (Adm. Ex.8). Rosa and Ronald signed the foregoing documents at the Respondent's office. The Respondent filed the Petition for Dissolution and the Entry of Appearance on December 26, 2003. On the same date, the Respondent appeared in court with Ronald, and the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage was entered by the court. (Tr. 596-98, 600-602; Adm. Ex. 5).

The Respondent was asked if he advised Rosa Gibson whether she could get an attorney to represent her in the divorce. He replied that, at the initial meeting with the Gibsons, he told them they "could get other attorneys to do the divorce." (Tr. 597). He also said he "explained to them that there could be questions raised" and that was the reason "they were given the opportunity to get a different attorney and they decided they wanted to use me." (Tr. 722). The Respondent said he did not recall if he used the term "conflict of interest" with them. (Tr. 722). The Respondent was also asked if he perceived a conflict of interest "in suing your own client [Rosa] on behalf of another client [Ronald]." He replied, "not when the client is, when the client and the person being sued in the divorce are given the opportunity to have a different attorney represent them. (Tr. 721).

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In December 2003, the Respondent prepared documents pertaining to the 55-acre property owned by Ronald and Rosa Gibson. There was an irrevocable trust agreement, signed by Ronald on December 23, 2003, that transferred the property to United Community Bank as trustee. Ronald was the beneficiary of the trust. (Resp. Ex. 6; Adm. Ex. 2). On the same date Ronald signed a deed conveying his interest in the property to United Community Bank as trustee. The deed was recorded on December 24, 2003. (Resp. Ex. 7: Adm. Ex. 3). Also, on December 23, 2003, Rosa signed a deed, prepared by the Respondent, conveying her interest in the 55-acre property to United Community Bank as trustee of the foregoing trust. The deed was recorded on December 24, 2003. (Resp. Ex. 8; Adm. Ex. 4). The Respondent said he "offered and encouraged Ronald and Rosa to each get their own attorney" in regard to the property, but they said they "didn't need more attorneys." (Tr. 599-601, 637-39).

In early 2005, Ronald decided to transfer title to the 55-acre property to his daughter and son-in-law, Carla and Jason Haydon. The Respondent was not involved in that decision, but prepared documents for the transfer at the request of Ronald. The Respondent prepared an Acceptance by Assignee (Resp. Ex. 4) and an Assignment of Beneficial Interest (Resp. Ex. 5). A provision in the Acceptance by Assignee allowed Ronald and Rosa to live in the mobile home on the property. At a meeting in the Respondent's Springfield office on April 7, 2005, the Assignment of Beneficial Interest was signed by Ronald, Rosa, and their daughters Veronica and Jamie. The Acceptance by Assignee was signed by Carla and Jason. (Tr. 620-24, 628-29, 746-47).

The Acceptance by Assignee contained a provision making Carla and Jason Haydon responsible for Respondent's attorney fees in the amount of $6,350.50. (Resp. Ex. 4). The Respondent explained that Carla and Jason had indicated to the trustee in Ronald's bankruptcy

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that they were going to provide money to make all of the Chapter 12 payments, and Respondent wanted something about such payments in the Acceptance by Assignee to benefit Ronald in case he withdrew his bankruptcy. The provision relating to the payments by Carla and Jason was in the order confirming Ronald's Chapter 12 Plan. (Resp. Ex. 25, par. 1(b); Tr. 625-27, 718-19). The Respondent said that no one at the meeting voiced any objection to the attorney's fee provision in the Acceptance by Assignee. (Tr. 628).

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition Respondent prepared and filed on behalf of Rosa Gibson on March 31, 2003, did not disclose Rosa's transfer of her interest in the 55-acre property on December 23, 2003. Paragraph 7 of the Statement of Financial Affairs section of the petition required disclosure of all gifts with a value of $200 or more made within one year prior to the filing of the petition. Paragraph 10 of the same section required disclosure of all other property transferred within one year prior to the filing of the petition. (Resp. Ex. 22 at 4; Adm. Ex. 10 at 4). The Respondent acknowledged that the transfer by Rosa should have been disclosed in, at least, paragraph 10, which does not contain a minimum value for the property transferred. (Tr. 724). He explained that the transfer of property was not disclosed because of a clerical mistake in his office. He also noted that he did not believe Rosa had any equity in the 55-acre property. Therefore, the property did not have a value of $200 and did not have to be disclosed in paragraph 7. (Tr. 603-606, 722-25).

The Respondent filed a Chapter 12 bankruptcy petition on behalf of Ronald Gibson on March 22, 2004, in the Southern District of Illinois. The case was transferred to the Central District of Illinois and was converted to a Chapter 11on April 13, 2004. It was then converted back to a Chapter 12 on November 3, 2004. (Tr. 607-09, 631-32; Adm. Exs. 11 at 1-2, 12). On January 31, 2005, the Respondent filed a Chapter 12 Plan of Reorganization. (Resp. Ex. 24). A

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hearing was held on March 1, 2005, and an order confirming the Plan was signed by the bankruptcy judge on April 8, 2005. (Tr. 617-29; Resp. Ex. 25; Adm. Ex. 11 at 14-15).

On May 18, 2004, Respondent filed a Petition for Approval of Attorney's Fees in Ronald's Chapter 12 bankruptcy case. (Resp. Ex. 11; Adm. Ex. 11 at 4-5). An order allowing the petition was entered on June 8, 2004. (Resp. Ex. 12; Adm. Ex. 11 at 4-6). The Respondent also filed an Application for Approval of Attorney's Fees and Expenses in Ronald's Chapter 11 case. An order allowing the application was entered on December 15, 2004. (Tr. 632; Resp. Exs. 13, 14; Adm. Ex. 11 at 13-14). The Respondent explained that when a bankruptcy is converted, such as from a Chapter 11 to a Chapter 12, a final report for the Chapter 11 is filed and a petition for attorney's fees is required. (Tr. 630-32).

On July 5, 2005, the Respondent had a memorandum of judgment recorded in Greene County against Ronald and Rosa Gibson, based upon the bankruptcy judge's order of December 15, 2004. The order was attached thereto. (Tr. 632-33, 636-37; Resp. Ex. 17). The Respondent was asked if the order of December 15, 2004, was "the final order regarding your fees and costs," and he replied "if it was the last order it would be final as to that particular case." (Tr. 633). The foregoing order did not use the term "judgment," whereas some other orders by the same bankruptcy judge did use that term. (Resp. Ex. 85). The Respondent said "you don't have to say judgment to have a judgment. It depends on what the substance of the language is." (Tr. 633-35).

The Respondent said he did not review the memorandum of judgment "like I should have" and did not notice, at the time, that it erroneously listed the judgment as being against Rosa Gibson. (Tr. 636-37). The memorandum of judgment against Ronald Gibson was ultimately released. (Tr. 642; Resp. Exs. 18, 19, 20). The Respondent said he never attempted to

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collect fees pursuant to the memorandum of judgment, and it never attached to the 55-acre property because the title to the property was in a trust. (Tr. 639-40).

Ronald Gibson filed a motion to dismiss his bankruptcy case in July 2005. This was against the advice of the Respondent. The motion was granted, and Ronald's bankruptcy was closed on August 2, 2005. (Tr. 643-44; Resp. Exs. 28, 29, 30, 31; Adm. Ex. 11 at 17-18).

Count V (The Lovekamp Matter)

The Respondent testified that Bankruptcy Judge Lessen signed an order on October 22, 2004, allowing Respondent's Petition for Approval of Attorney's Fees in the bankruptcy case of John and Frances Lovekamp. (Resp. Exs. 41, 42). On October 28, 2004, the Respondent recorded a memorandum of judgment against the Lovekamps in Sangamon County, with a copy of the foregoing order attached. (Resp. Ex. 43). Respondent was asked if the foregoing order was a "final order," and he replied "I would have to say I think so." (Tr. 644-45). He also said "Judge Lessen's order was a judgment," and the fact the order did not include the term "judgment" is "not controlling." (Tr. 644-46).

The Respondent further testified that he never attempted to collect money from the Lovekamps based upon the memorandum of judgment. He released it on May 9, 2009. (Tr. 646-47; Resp. Ex. 44).

Count VI (The Bagley Farm Matter)

On December 15, 2004, Bankruptcy Judge Lessen signed an order allowing Respondent's Application for Approval of Attorney's Fees in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Bagley Farms., Inc. (Resp. Exs. 52, 53). On June 30, 2005, the Respondent recorded a memorandum of judgment against the Bagley Farms, Inc., in care of Jeff and Rosemary Bagley, in Macoupin

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County for the amount of $4,521.05, with a copy of the foregoing order attached. (Resp. Ex. 54; Tr. 649-51).

The Respondent said he considered the order of December 15, 2004 (Resp. Ex. 53), to be a "final order in the [Chapter] 11 case." The Chapter 11 was converted to a Chapter 12 on November 5, 2004, and the Chapter 12 Plan was confirmed on May 11, 2005. (Adm. Ex. 43 at 8, 13). The Respondent acknowledged that the memorandum of judgment pertaining to the Chapter 11 order was "done prematurely." (Tr. 652-53). The memorandum of judgment was ultimately released. (Tr. 653).

Count VII (The Myers Matter)

The Respondent filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition for Tony and Darlene Myers on March 25, 2004. (Resp. Ex. 62). It was converted to a Chapter 12 on November 3, 2004. (Adm. Ex. 53 at 1, 13). Respondent said he told Mr. Myers that his attorney's fees are "based upon an hourly rate with a certain amount of money up front." (Tr. 655, 664-65).

Respondent recorded a memorandum of judgment against Tony and Darlene Myers in Christian County on June 30, 2005. (Resp. Ex. 67). The Respondent said he did not use the memorandum of judgment to collect attorney's fees. Ultimately, the Respondent and Mr. and Myers agreed on a "negotiated number" to be paid for attorney's fees. The Respondent then recorded a satisfaction of judgment in Christian County on December 23, 2005. (Resp. Ex. 68; Tr. 655-57).

Count VIII (The Reed Matter)

The Respondent filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition on behalf of Russell Reed in March 2008. (Adm. Exs. 70, 71). At their first meeting, Mr. Reed provided an overall picture of his financial difficulties, much of which was with the Internal Revenue Service. The Respondent

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said he did not recall Mr. Reed saying anything about keeping his employer, the law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson, from finding out about his bankruptcy. (Tr. 665-67).

On Schedule D, Creditors Holding Secured Claims, of Mr. Reed's bankruptcy petition, two installment loans were listed. The loans were dated 4/2005 and 11/2007, respectively. It was stated as to both loans, that there was "mandated repayment under employment contract." (Adm. Ex. 71 at 16). The Respondent explained that one of the loans was from Mr. Reed's pension plan, and the other was from his 401(k) plan. (Tr. 667-69). The creditor's name and address for both loans was "Hinshaw & Culbertson, c/o John S. Narmont, 209 Bruns Lane, Springfield, IL 62702." Respondent acknowledged that no one from Hinshaw & Culbertson had authorized notices to be sent to the Respondent. (Tr. 701-702).

The Respondent said the listing of his name and address to receive notices on behalf of Hinshaw & Culbertson "was a mistake on behalf of my office people." (Tr. 671). He explained that when his staff was working on the petition, Billie Gordon, a legal assistant, said to him "something to the extent we want to show the number on the pension and the 401k, the dollar numbers, what do we do for an address, and I said I guess you could use it here." (Tr. 671-72, 708). Respondent pointed out that Mr. Reed did not ask him to enter any particular information as to the creditor's name or mailing address. (Tr. 672).

Respondent said that "after a great deal of thought, the loans listed on Schedule D did not belong there. This is because they were not owed to a third party creditor, but were loans Mr. Reed owed to himself. (Tr. 669-72, 681, 704-705). If Mr. Reed did not continue to repay the pension and 401k loans, he could face tax consequences for premature withdrawals. (Tr. 702-703).

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On June 24, 2008, Respondent appeared before Bankruptcy Judge Mary Gorman for a hearing on Mr. Reed's Chapter 13 Plan. (Tr. 674-75; Adm. Exs. 77, 78). At the hearing, Judge Gorman inquired about creditor Hinshaw & Culbertson being listed on Schedule D and in the mailing matrix with an address in care of the Respondent. (Tr. 675-77; Adm. Ex. 78 at 4). The Respondent said that when Judge Gorman began questioning him, he was unable to recall the circumstances of how his mailing address was entered for Hinshaw & CulbertsoN. He told Judge Gorman that "we were trying to save him - they know that he's in a 13, they have a secured claim, He didn't - he was embarrassed and didn't want the notices to go to his office." (Tr. 677; Adm. Ex. 78 at 4). The Respondent testified that his response to Judge Gorman was "inaccurate" and a "misstatement." (Tr. 677, 708). He explained that, at the time of the proceeding before Judge Gorman, he was suffering from vertigo, a sense of imbalance, dizziness, and was taking a "lot of medication." (Tr. 676, 680, 709, 738, 740). The Respondent also said that it was his understanding that certain personnel at Hinshaw & Culbertson were aware of the bankruptcy proceedings of Mr. Reed. (Tr. 679).

On cross-examination, the Respondent was asked about his sworn statement on February 18, 2009. (Tr. 709-12) He said that he was still having the medical problems discussed above at the time of his sworn statement. (Tr. 736-39).

Count IX (The Frontone Matter)

The Respondent filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition on behalf of John and Kathleen Frontone on December 30, 2002. (Resp. Exs. 76, 80). On June 30, 2005, Respondent recorded a memorandum of judgment against the Frontones in Logan County. (Resp. Ex. 79). The memorandum of judgment was based upon an order of June 22, 2005, that allowed his Petition for Approval of Attorney's Fees. The order was attached to the memorandum of judgment. The

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Respondent said the foregoing order was a final order and judgment. He explained that the "case was over" and the Chapter 13 Plan had been confirmed. (Tr. 660-62, 729-32).

The Respondent was asked if he perceived a conflict of interest between him and his client by the recording of the memorandum of judgment against them. He replied "no, because it's, it was there was a judgment order from the court awarding attorney's fees." (Tr. 661).

The Respondent also testified that he did not think it was wrong under the law to record the memorandum of judgment. (Tr. 664). However, he does not currently record memorandums of judgment and does not intend to do so. He further stated that he regrets having recorded them because it "caused too much grief on too many people." Specifically, he mentioned his wife, people in his office, and "having to ask judges to come and speak for you." (Tr. 662-64).

Finally, the Respondent was asked about attempting to collect debts, that is attorney's fees, while a bankruptcy is pending. He explained that his attempts to collect attorney's fees were not barred by the automatic stay in the bankruptcy proceedings because "those were for post-petition services" and "once there's a confirmation of a plan, that releases the [bankruptcy] estate, whatever it may be to the debtor, and if there's post-petition fees that have been earned and ordered, those you could take action to collect. Pre-petition fees, no." (Tr. 681-82, 728-29).

Judge Patrick Londrigan

Judge Londrigan testified that he is a Circuit Court Judge and hears cases in both Macoupin and Sangamon Counties. Based upon the people in both communities who appear before him, including other attorneys and the Respondent's clients, the Respondent has a good reputation for honesty and integrity. (Tr. 391-93).

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Justice Thomas Appleton

Appellate Court Justice Appleton testified that within the legal community of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, primarily in Sangamon County, the Respondent has a good reputation for honesty and integrity. (Tr. 394-96).

Judge Tim Olson

Judge Olson testified that he is a family court judge in Morgan County. The Respondent has appeared before Judge Olson regularly for about 22 years. Within the legal community of Morgan County the Respondent has a good reputation for honesty and integrity. (Tr. 396-98).

Judge Steve Nardulli

Judge Nardulli, an Associate Circuit Judge in Sangamon County, testified that he has known the Respondent since the early 1980S. The Respondent appears before Judge Nardulli on, at least, a weekly basis. Within the legal community in Sangamon County the Respondent has an excellent reputation for honesty and integrity. (Tr. 399-402).

Judge Robert Hardwick

Judge Hardwick testified that he has been the resident Circuit Court Judge in Cass County for 8 years. He has known the Respondent for about 30 years. The Respondent appears before Judge Hardwick once or twice a month. Within the legal community of Western Illinois the Respondent has a good reputation for honesty and integrity. (Tr. 402-404).

Judge Rudolph Braud

Judge Braud testified that he has been an Associate Judge in Sangamon County since September 2007, and is in the family division. The Respondent practices before Judge Braud.

Within the legal community in Springfield the Respondent has a great reputation for honesty and integrity. (Tr. 406-407).

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Judge John Mehlick

Judge Mehlick was an Associate Judge in Sangamon County for 22 years and is now retired. The Respondent regularly appeared before Judge Mehlick. Within the legal community in the Seventh Judicial Circuit the Respondent has a good reputation for honesty and integrity. (Tr. 408-11).

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

In attorney disciplinary proceedings, the Administrator has the burden of proving the charges of misconduct by clear and convincing evidence. In re Timpone, 208 Ill. 2d 371, 380, 804 N.E.2d 560, 566 (2004). This standard of proof requires a high level of certainty, which is greater than a preponderance of the evidence (i.e. more probably true than not true) but not as great as proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Bazydlo v. Volant, 164 Ill. 2d 207, 213, 647 N.E.2d 273, 276 (1995).

In determining whether the burden of proof has been satisfied, the Hearing Panel has the responsibility of assessing the credibility and believability of the witnesses, weighing conflicting testimony, drawing reasonable inferences from the evidence, and making factual findings based upon all the evidence. In re Howard, 188 Ill. 2d 423, 435, 721 N.E.2d 1126, 1133 (1999); In re Ring, 141 Ill. 2d 128, 138-39, 565 N.E.2d 983, 987 (1991). The Hearing Panel is in a position to judge credibility and weigh conflicting testimony because it is able to "see the witnesses [and] observe their demeanor." In re Samuels, 126 Ill. 2d 509, 526, 535 N.E.2d 808, 814 (1989); In re Spak, 188 Ill. 2d 53, 66, 719 N.E.2d 747, 754 (1999).

With the above principles in mind, and after considering all of the evidence, we make the following findings.

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Count I

The attorney-client relationship imposes a fiduciary duty on an attorney toward every client. This means that an attorney owes every client undivided fidelity and loyalty, good faith, due care, skill, and diligence. See In re Winthrop, 219 Ill. 2d 526, 543-44, 848 N.E.2d 961, 972-73 (2006); In re Vrdolyak, 137 Ill. 2d 407, 422-24, 560 N.E.2d 840, 845-46 (1990); In re Cutright, 05 SH 106, Review Bd. at 6-7 (findings of misconduct upheld in In re Cutright, 233 Ill. 2d 474, 910 N.E.2d 581 (2009). A "conflict of interest arises whenever an attorney's independent judgment on behalf of a client may be affected by a loyalty to another party." This is a "rigid rule," and does not require proof that the attorney's "professional judgment was actually compromised." In re LaPinska, 72 Ill. 2d 461, 469, 381 N.E.2d 700, 703 (1978); In re Gearhart, 05 SH 19, M.R. 21335 (Mar. 19, 2007) (Review Bd. at 12-13). The rule prohibiting an attorney from accepting representation that creates a conflict of interest is designed to "preclude the honest practitioner from putting himself in a position where he may be required to choose between conflicting duties." Therefore, an attorney "should undertake no adverse employment." LaPinska, 72 Ill. 2d at 469; In re Schmeider, 98 Ill. 2d 215, 223, 456 N.E.2d 2, 6 (1983).

An attorney has a divided loyalty and, thus, a conflict of interest by representing one spouse in a dissolution of marriage proceeding while, at the same time, having a loyalty to the other spouse. See In re O'Shea, 02 SH 64, M.R, 19680 (Dec. 17, 2004) (Hearing Bd. at 15-18); In re Schildman, 00 SH 60, M.R. 18905 (Nov. 20, 2003) (Review Bd. at 14); In re Heldrich, 02 CH 26, M.R. 19630 (Nov. 17, 2004) (Hearing Bd. at 22; Review Bd. at 9). Furthermore, an attorney's relationship with a client continues until the "completion and satisfaction of the matter the attorney was employed to conduct." Timpone, 208 Ill. 2d at 382.

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The Respondent clearly had a conflict of interest when he represented Ronald Gibson against Rosa Gibson in the dissolution of marriage proceeding that was filed and completed on December 26, 2003. At the time Respondent represented Ronald in the dissolution proceeding, he also had an attorney-client relationship with Rosa. On or before December 26, 2003, the Respondent agreed to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition for Rosa. (Tr. 720-21). On December 26, 2003, Respondent accepted payment of $10,239, which was, in part, for attorney's fees to file the Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding for Rosa. (Adm. Exs. 1 and 15, par. 5; Resp. Ex. 2B; Resp. Ex. 13 at 3). Additionally, the Respondent prepared a "Warranty Deed in Trust" for Rosa, which she signed on December 23, 2003. The Respondent prepared a trust, which was signed by Ronald on December 23, 2003. (Adm. Ex. 2). The Respondent acknowledged that he was representing both Ronald and Rosa in the creation of the trust. (Tr. 743). He also prepared wills for Rosa and Ronald on December 23, 2003. (Resp. Exs. 13 at 3; 15, p 11; Adm. Ex. 34 at 3). The Respondent's representation of Rosa then continued after December 26, 2003. He filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition on her behalf in March 2004, and represented her in that proceeding. Thus, the Respondent had an attorney-client relationship with and owed undivided loyalty to Rosa Gibson at the same time he represented her adverse party in the dissolution proceeding.

We also find that the Respondent had a conflict of interest by representing both Ronald and Rosa in the transfer of their interests in the 55-acre property they jointly owned. As mentioned above, the Respondent prepared a "Warranty Deed in Trust," signed by Rosa in his office on December 23, 2003, which transferred Rosa's entire interest in the real estate to a trust, Number 403-306. (Adm. Ex. 4). Ronald was the sole beneficiary of trust Number 403-306. The trust was also prepared by the Respondent. (Adm. Ex. 1). It is well established that an attorney

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has a conflict of interest by representing a client in a financial transaction while, at the same time, having a loyalty to another party in the transaction. See In re Twohey, 191 Ill. 2d 74, 89, 727 N.E.2d 1028, 1036 (2000); In re Rosin, 118 Ill. 2d 365, 379-81, 515 N.E.2d 85, 92-93 (1987); In re O'Donnell, 04 CH 115, M.R. 22181 (Mar. 17, 2008) (Hearing Bd. at 9-12).

We further find that there was no effective waiver by either Ronald or Rosa Gibson in regard to Respondent's conflict of interest. Rule 1.7 (a)(2) and (b)(2) provide that there may be a waiver if "each client consents after disclosure." Rule 1.7(c) indicates that, in regard to a common representation, a disclosure "shall include explanation of the implications of the common representation and the advantages and risks involved." The Supreme Court, in discussing conflict of interest, has stated:

An attorney must not, of course, decide unilaterally whether the circumstances justify his accepting employment despite a conflict of interest. He may not proceed to represent his client without her free, intelligent, and informed consent. He must make sure she knows and understands the conflict and the threat it poses to the attorney's objectivity, and any other considerations material to the client's decision whether to entrust her affairs to the attorney. He must also take suitable precautions to minimize the dangers and disadvantages to the client of his double role, including the risk that the attorney's advice about the initial decision to proceed despite the conflict may itself be biased. And for his own protection, he should be prepared to prove later what really happened."

In re Barrick, 87 Ill. 2d 233, 239, 429 N.E.2d 842, 846 (1981).

The evidence showed that there was no disclosure in this case. As to the dissolution proceeding, the Respondent testified that he "indicated" to Rosa and Ronald that they could "get other attorneys to do the divorce" (Tr. 597). As to the transfer of property, the Respondent testified that he "offered and encouraged Ronald and Rosa to each get their own attorney." (Tr. 600-601). He also testified that he "explained to them that there could be questions raised" and that is why "they were given the opportunity to get a different attorney and they decided they wanted to use me." (Tr. 722). However, the Respondent did not recall whether he mentioned

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the term "conflict of interest" to the Gibbons. (Tr. 722). In In re O'Brien, 02 CH 73, M.R. 19818 (Jan. 14, 2005), (Hearing Bd. at 21-22), the attorney was found to have a conflict of interest. Although the attorney informed the clients they could seek independent counsel, he "failed to disclose the nature of the conflict" and "the pitfalls for them being jointly represented by one attorney." See also In re Baril, 00 SH 14, M.R.18162 (Sept. 19, 2002) (Hearing Bd. at 35); In re Beaupre, 03 SH 32, M.R. 20233 (Sept. 26, 2005) (Hearing Bd. at 29; Review Bd. at 7). Based upon the Respondent's own testimony, he did not disclose to Ronald or Rosa that they had conflicting interests, the nature of their conflicting interests, why he had a conflict of interest in representing them, or how the conflict of interest could adversely affect them. Thus, there was no effective waiver of the Respondent's conflict of interest.

The Respondent pointed out that Rosa signed an "Entry of Appearance and Consent" in which she acknowledged she was not represented by counsel in the dissolution proceeding and waived her right to retain counsel. (Resp. Ex. 35; Tr. 597-98). However, there is nothing in the "Entry of Appearance and Consent" that refers to a waiver of a conflict of interest, or even the recognition that there is a conflict of interest. Also, the foregoing document was prepared by the Respondent and signed at the Respondent's office. Furthermore, it is apparent from Rosa's testimony that she did not understand that document. During cross-examination by Respondent's counsel, Rosa was asked if she was "aware that he [Respondent] wasn't representing you" in the divorce, and she answered "[w]ell, no, I'm not aware of that." Upon further questioning she stated "I figured that Mr. Narmont was representing us both." (Tr. 451).

We also note that both Ronald and Rosa testified that the Respondent did not inform them of any conflict of interest on his part. (Tr. 361, 421-22). We found Ronald's and Rosa's testimony in this regard to be credible.

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An attorney who has a conflict of interest also breaches his or her fiduciary duty to the client or clients. See Vrdolyak, 137 Ill. 2d at 422; In re DiCaprio, 02 CH 8, M.R. 20152 (Sept. 26, 2005) (Review Bd. at 1, 3); Cutright, 05 SH 106, (Review Bd. at 6-7) (Findings of misconduct upheld in Cutright, 233 Ill. 2d 474). Also, when an attorney has a conflict of interest and breaches his or her fiduciary duty to a client, the attorney's conduct tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute. See Twohey, 191 Ill. 2d at 84-85; In re Murzyn, 05 CH 73, M.R. 21436 (Mar. 19, 2007) (Petition to Impose Discipline on Consent at 2-3); DiCaprio, 02 CH 8 (Hearing Bd. at 19-20; Review Bd. at 3).

Therefore, we find that the Administrator proved by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent committed the following misconduct as charged in Count I of the Amended Complaint: (a) breached his fiduciary duty; (b) engaged in a conflict of interest by representing a client where the representation of that client is directly adverse to another client, in violation of Rule 1.7(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; (c) engaged in a conflict of interest by representing a client where the representation of that client may be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client or by the lawyer's own interests, in violation of Rule 1.7(b); (d) failed to explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit a client to make informed decisions regarding the representation, in violation of Rule 1.4(b); (e) engaged in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5); and (f) engaged in 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.

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Count II

The Respondent filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition on behalf of Rosa Gibson on March 31, 2004. (Adm. Ex. 10). In the "Statement of Financial Affairs" section of the petition, the debtor is required to list certain "gifts" and "other transfers." At paragraph 7, the debtor is required to list all "gifts" with a value of $200 or more that were made within one year before the petition was filed. At paragraph 10, the debtor is required to list "all other property" transferred within one year before the petition was filed. (Adm. Ex. 10 at 4). The Respondent did not list Rosa's transfer of her interest in the 55-acre property to the trust of which Ronald was sole beneficiary. There is no doubt that Rosa's transfer of the property was required to be listed on her bankruptcy petition.

When the Respondent was asked why the transfer of the property was not listed on Rosa's bankruptcy petition, he replied "[s]omebody in the office screwed up as far as the transfer goes." (Tr. 693). He then went on to say that it could be argued that the transfer was not a gift, under paragraph 7, because he believed Rosa had no equity in the property and, thus, it did have a value of at least $200. (Tr. 603-04). Nevertheless, later in his testimony, the Respondent acknowledged that "it's clear with regard to paragraph 10" that the transfer should have been listed. (Tr. 724).

The Respondent also explained that, perhaps, the transfer was not listed by his staff because "initially when we took the information there hadn't been a transfer of the farm." (Tr. 603). However, if the Respondent or his staff had relied on the information received before the transfer of the property by Rosa, the property should have been listed in "Schedule A- Real Property" of her petition, but it was not. The property was, however, listed in "Schedule A- Real

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Property of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition the Respondent filed on behalf of Ronald Gibson on March 22, 2004. (Adm. Ex. 12 at 10).

Intent and motive are rarely proved by direct testimony, and usually must be inferred from the overall circumstances shown by the evidence. See In re D'Angelo, 126 Ill. 2d 45, 56-57, 533 N.E.2d 861, 866 (1989); In re Freiman, 118 Ill. 2d 341, 345, 515 N.E.2d 78, 80 (1987); In re Odom, 01 CH 69, M.R.19772 (May 19, 2005) (Review Bd. at 6). Based upon the overall circumstances, we find that the failure to list Rosa's transfer of real property was knowing and intentional. The transfer was not a minor matter. The Respondent discussed putting the property into a trust during his first meeting with the Gibbons. (Tr. 726-27). He then prepared a trust pertaining to the property. (Adm. Ex. 1); he prepared a warranty deed for Ronald to transfer the property into the trust (Adm. Ex. 3); he prepared a warranty deed for Rosa to transfer the property in to the trust. (Adm. Ex. 4); and he listed the property in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition filed on behalf of Ronald Gibson on March 22, 2004 (Adm. Ex. 12 at 10). We find it impossible to believe that the failure to mention the 55-acre property in Rosa's petition was a mere oversight.

Finally, the trustee for Rosa Gibson's bankruptcy, John Swartz, testified that he relied on the representations in the "Statement of Financial Affairs section of Rosa's petition.

Therefore, we find that the Administrator proved by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent committed the following misconduct as charged in Count II of the Amended Complaint: (a) made a statement of material fact or law to a tribunal which the lawyer knows or should know is false, in violation of Rule 3.3(a)(1) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; (b) engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4); (c) engaged in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in

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violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5); and (d) engaged in 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 III

Count III of the Amended Complaint also pertains to Ronald and Rosa Gibson. In early 2005, Ronald and Rosa, with the agreement of their three daughters, Veronica Gibson, Jamie White, and Carla Haydon, decided to convey the 55-acre property to Carla Haydon and her husband Jason. It was agreed that Ronald and Rosa would be able to reside in the mobile home on the property for the rest of their lives. The Respondent did not participate in the foregoing decisions. However, Ronald asked the Respondent to prepare the necessary paperwork for the transaction.

The Respondent prepared an "Assignment of Beneficial Interest" document (Resp. Ex. 5) to be signed by Ronald, Rosa, Veronica, and Jamie. The purpose of this document was to show that the family members were aware of and agreed to the conveying of the 55-acre property to Jason and Carla Haydon. The Respondent also prepared a document entitled "Acceptance by Assignee" (Resp. Ex. 4) to be signed by Jason and Carla Haydon. This document provided for the life estates that would allow Ronald and Rosa to reside in the mobile home on the property. The document also contained a provision stating that Jason and Carla Haydon "accept the personal financial responsibility of paying all of the aforesaid indebtedness" that included "the outstanding fee balance due to John S. Narmont in the amount of $6,350.50 as of April 7, 2005, applicable to the Chapter 12 Bankruptcy of Ronald Gibson." (Resp. Ex. 4). Both documents were signed at the Respondent's office on April 7, 2005.

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It is clear from the testimony that no member of the Gibson family requested the Respondent to include any provision in the "Acceptance by Assignee" (Resp. Ex. 4) regarding his attorney fees or for Carla and Jason Haydon to be responsible for paying any of his attorney fees. Also, the Respondent did not advise Ronald, Rosa, Veronica, Jamie, or the Haydons that he was going to, or did, include such a provision in that document. (Tr. 367, 369). The Respondent met briefly with the Gibsons and Haydons at his office on April 7, 2005, but did not mention the provision regarding attorney fees in the "Acceptance by Assignee" (Resp. Ex. 4). Clearly, the Respondent acted without the knowledge or consent of his clients, sought to deceive the Gibsons and the Haydons, and attempted to exert undue influence by having the Haydons sign the document he had prepared for his self-serving purpose.

When Jason and Carla Haydon signed the "Acceptance by Assignee" (Resp. Ex. 4), Jason noticed the provision regarding the Respondent's attorney fees. However, Jason "had no idea what it meant," but thought the $6,350.50 "was coming out of the $10,000" previously paid to the Respondent. (Tr. 184, 207, 230-31, 431, 454-55). Jason also said he did not think he or Carla owed any attorney fees to the Respondent. (Tr. 183-86, 201-08, 211-12). Carla testified that she thought the $6,350.50 was coming out of the $10,000 previously paid to the Respondent. Carla also testified that neither she nor Jason agreed to pay any attorney fees to the Respondent, and that it was never discussed with them. (Tr. 479,481 483-84, 494). Ronald testified that the Respondent never said anything about Carla and Jason about being responsible for attorney fees. (Tr. 366). Rosa testified that the Respondent never asked if he could make Carla and Jason responsible for his attorney fees and did not discuss his attorney fees at the time the documents were signed. (Tr. 430-31, 454) Based upon the foregoing testimony, we find that the Respondent failed to sufficiently explain the document he prepared and engaged in deceitful conduct.

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The Respondent explained that he included the provision about the Haydons being responsible for payment of his attorney fees in the "Acceptance by Assignee" document (Resp. Ex. 4) because "the Haydons had orally communicated they were going to provide the money to make all the Chapter 12 payments and requirements which would have included administrative expenses, trustee expenses, payments to creditors as in the plan and attorney's fees whatever they might be." (Tr. 625-26). Specifically, the Respondent referred to paragraph 1(b) in the order of April 8, 2005, confirming the Chapter 12 Plan. (Tr. 718-19; Resp. Ex. 25 at 2). Even if the Haydons had agreed in the bankruptcy proceeding to make payments for attorney's fees on behalf of Ronald Gibson, the Respondent still acted improperly. He included in a document separate from the bankruptcy proceeding a provision making the Haydons financially responsible for payment of Respondent's attorney fees as a "condition precedent to this assignment" (Resp. Ex. 4) in the absence of any disclosure or explanation to his clients. Nevertheless, we find no basis in the confirmed Plan, relied on by the Respondent, for the Haydons to be responsible for payment of Respondent's attorney fees. The pertinent provision of the Plan states:

b. The claim of BANK OF CALHOUN COUNTY as to a secured lien on Debtor's interest in residence and real estate shall be considered secured by said lien. The lien shall be paid upon stipulation and agreed Order entered with the Court, between Debtor and Bank of Calhoun County in this case. Payments shall be made [by] Debtor's daughter and son-in-law Carla Haydon and Jason Haydon.

(Resp. Ex. 25 at 2)

The plain language of the above provision is that it pertains solely to a claim by the Bank of Calhoun County and a lien on a residence and real estate. We find nothing in the provision that would lead Carla and Jason Haydon, or any reasonable person, to believe that it pertained to the payment of the Respondent's attorney's fees.

We further find, in regard to the "Acceptance by Assignee" document (Resp. Ex. 4), that the Respondent had a conflict of interest. In preparing the document, the Respondent was, as he

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acknowledged, representing Ronald and Rosa Gibson. At the same time, the Respondent was a third party beneficiary of the document, in that he inserted a provision making the Haydons responsibility for the Respondent's attorney's fees from the bankruptcy proceeding without the knowledge or permission of Ronald Gibson. Thus, the Respondent's own interests may have materially limited his representation.

Therefore, we find that the Administrator proved by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent committed the following misconduct as charged in Count III of the Amended Complaint: (a) exerted or attempted to exert undue influence; (b) engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; (c) failed to explain a matter to the extent necessary to permit a client to make informed decisions regarding the representation, in violation of Rule 1.4(b); (d) engaged in a conflict of interest by representing a client where the representation of that client may be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client or by the lawyer's own interests, in violation of Rule 1.7(b); (e) engaged in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5); and (f) engaged in 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.

We further find that the charge the Respondent overreached or attempted to overreach the attorney-client relationship was not proved. Overreaching occurs when an attorney takes undue advantage of the position of influence he or she holds over a client to cause the client to do something or fail to do something. In regard to count III, the Respondent did not seek to have his clients Ronald or Rosa Gibson do anything in regard to the "Acceptance by Assignee" document. He did not seek to have them sign it, and he never even told them about the provision

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in it pertaining to the Haydons being responsible for payment of attorney's fees. We note, however, that we do not approve of the Respondent's deceitfulness in regard to the document he prepared for Carla and Jason Haydon to sign. If the Haydons had been the Respondent's clients, we would have found that he overreached or attempted to overreach the attorney-client relationship.

Count IV

Count IV pertains to the Respondent's recording of a memorandum of judgment against Ronald and Rosa Gibson in Greene County on July 5, 2005.

A creditor may record a memorandum of judgment if the judgment is "final, valid, and for a definite amount." See In re Marriage of King, 208 Ill. 2d 332, 346-47, 802 N.E.2d 1216, 1223-24 (2003); Maniez v. Citibank, 383 Ill. App. 3d 38, 41, 890 N.E.2d 662, 665 (2008); 735 ILCS 5/12-101. Thus, a memorandum of judgment based on an order that is not final is not validly recorded. In this case, the Respondent recorded on July 5, 2005, a memorandum of judgment that was based on an order entered on December 15, 2004 in Ronald Gibson's bankruptcy case. That order approved fees and expenses "totaling $8,560.50 as of November 23, 2004." (Resp. Ex. 17). It is clear to us that the order of December 15, 2004, was not a final order or judgment on which a memorandum of judgment could be properly based

We first point out that the bankruptcy case of Ronald Gibson was still pending on December 15, 2004, and was not dismissed until July 11, 2005. (Resp. Ex. 33 at 19). Therefore, the Respondent's memorandum of judgment was based upon an order entered while the bankruptcy case was still pending, and it was recorded before the case was completed. It is well established that orders pertaining to attorney compensation in a bankruptcy case are "tentative"

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until the case is closed. See In re Matter of Taxman Clothing, 49 F.3d 310, 312 (7th Cir. 1995). For example, in In re Callister, 673 F.2d 305, 307 (10th Cir. 1982), the court stated:

The statute anticipates repeated application to the court for reimbursement and compensation, subjecting the award to amendment or modification at any time during the pendency of the bankruptcy proceedings.

* * *

Interim allowances are always subject to the court's re-examination and adjustment during the course of the case, and all expenses of administration must receive the court's final scrutiny and approval . . . Interim awards, then, are in no respect final adjudications on the question of compensation. Such awards are therefore interlocutory.

In regard to Ronald Gibson's bankruptcy case, United States District Judge Jeanne E. Scott described the order of December 15, 2004, as an "interim order," and stated that "the interim fee orders were interlocutory when they were entered in the ongoing bankruptcy" and would "become final and appealable when the bankruptcy is concluded." (In re Gibson, No. 09-3041. C.D. Ill. May 15, 2009) (Resp. Ex. 93 at 3, 11). Thus, the order of December 15, 2004, was not a final order at the time the Respondent recorded the memorandum of judgment on July 5, 2005.

In addition, the order approving attorney's fees and expenses on December 15, 2004, was not a final order for other reasons as well. Respondent filed three requests for fees in Ronald Gibson's bankruptcy case. The first, entitled "Petition for Approval of Attorney's Fees" was filed on May 18, 2004. (Resp. Exs. 11, 33 at 5). The petition pertained to the period of December 19, 2003 to April 8, 2004, and requested attorney fees and expenses totaling $3,912.75. The petition stated that, if the $3,912.75 was allowed, there would a "credit balance" of $6,326.25 because the Respondent had previously received a payment of $10,239. (Resp. Ex. 11 at 3-5). On June 8, 2004, the bankruptcy judge entered an order approving the "amount of $3,912.75 as of May 17, 2004." (Resp. Ex. 12).

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On December 1, 2004, Respondent filed a second request for compensation, entitled "Application for Approval of Attorney's fees and Expenses." (Resp. Exs. 13, 33 at 14). The portion of this application that pertained solely to the "Chapter 11 Conversion" covered the period of March 18, 2004, to November 11, 2004, and requested attorney's fees and expenses in the amount of $8,560.50. (Resp. Ex. 13 at 8-13) The Respondent's application concluded that the total attorney's fees and expenses for the "Chapter 7, Chapter 11 [and] Chapter 12" was $13,233.25, which left $2,994.25 as the "balance due" to the Respondent. (Resp. Ex. 13 at 1, 22). On December 15, 2004, the bankruptcy judge entered the order approving an amount "totaling $8,560.50 as of November 23, 2004." (Resp. Ex. 14).

It is apparent that the above order of December 15, 2004, was not intended to be a final order because of its plain language that the amount approved was "as of November 23, 2004." The case was still pending and additional fees would certainly be earned. Additionally, the Respondent himself recognized that the order of December 15, 2004 was not a final order because he filed a subsequent request for additional fees on April 27, 2005. (Resp. Exs. 15, 33 at 17). This petition pertained to the period of December 19, 2003, to April 12, 2005, and included the total amount of Respondent's attorney's fees and expenses, $17,202, for the "Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and both Chapter 12's" of Ronald Gibson. (Resp. Ex. 15 at 1, 12). The amount of $17,202 included the attorney's fees and expenses approved for the Chapter 11Conversion on December 15, 2004. (See Resp. Exs. 13 at 8-13, 15 at 4-9). Thus, the order of December 15, 2004, on which the memorandum of judgment was based, was not a final order because there was a subsequent order entered on May 5, 2005, that pertained to the same attorney's fees and expenses.

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In light of the fact that the Respondent had previously received the payment of $10,239 in December 2003, the balance due to him as of April 2005 was $6,963.00. (Resp. Ex. 15 at 12; Resp. Ex. 16). By recording the memorandum of judgment on July 5, 2005, in the amount of $8,560.50, the Respondent represented that Ronald and Rosa Gibson owed that amount to the Respondent. However, the Respondent was owed only $2,994.25at the time the order of December 15, 2004 was entered, and was owed only $6,963.00 at the time the order of May 5, 2005, was entered. Thus, the Respondent's representation in the memorandum of judgment that he was owed $8,560.50 was false, and he knew at that time it was false.

The Respondent did not reduce the amount of the "Judgment Lien" from $8,560.50 to $6,963 until June 27, 2008, almost three years after the memorandum of judgment was recorded. (Resp. Ex. 18).

The memorandum of judgment recorded by the Respondent also stated that the judgment was against both Ronald and Rosa Gibson. (Resp. Ex. 17). However, it is clear that the order of December 15, 2004, on which the memorandum of judgment was based, was entered in a bankruptcy proceeding in which Ronald Gibson was the sole debtor. Rosa Gibson was simply not a party in that case. Thus, the memorandum of judgment falsely stated that a judgment had been rendered against Rosa Gibson.

In his Answer, the Respondent stated that "including Rosa's name in the Memorandum of Judgment was a scrivener's error by Respondent's former bookkeeper, whom Respondent now believes was emotionally impaired." (Answer to Amended Complaint, Count IV, par. 59). However, an attorney cannot avoid ethical obligations by simply delegating work to others. The Respondent was fully aware that a non-lawyer in his employ was preparing memorandums of judgment that were going to be recorded. The Respondent had a duty to review such documents

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to assure their legal sufficiency and overall accuracy. See Vrdolyak, 137 Ill. 2d at 428-29; In re Weinberg, 119 Ill. 2d 309, 315, 518 N.E.2d 1037, 1040 (1988).

In recording the memorandum of judgment, the Respondent also had a conflict of interest and breached his fiduciary duty. As discussed in regard to Count I, an attorney owes a duty of undivided fidelity, loyalty, and good faith to every client. A conflict of interest arises whenever an attorney's independent judgment on behalf of a client may be affected by a loyalty to another party, including the attorney himself. By recording a memorandum of judgment against Ronald and Rosa Gibson without their knowledge or consent, the Respondent placed himself in a position adverse to the interests of a client. Also, based upon the conflict of interest and the Respondent's failure to inform his clients of the recording of the memorandum of judgment against them, he failed to act with undivided fidelity, loyalty or good faith toward his clients.

Finally, the Respondent's recording of the memorandum of judgment violated the bankruptcy law. An automatic stay comes into effect at the time a bankruptcy petition is filed, and remains in effect until the case is closed. (11 U.S.C. Sections 362(a) and 362(c)(2)). The automatic stay prohibits a creditor from performing "any act to create, perfect, or enforce any lien against property of the estate." (11 U.S.C. Section 362(a)(4)). Additionally, the stay prohibits a creditor from taking any action against a debtor to collect on claims that arose before the bankruptcy petition was filed. (11 U.S.C. Section 362 (a)(1)). The bankruptcy petition of Ronald Gibson was filed on March 22, 2004, and the case remained pending until it was dismissed on July 11, 2005. (Resp. Ex. 33 at 1, 19).

The Respondent recorded the memorandum of judgment on July 5, 2005, which occurred while the case was still pending, and such recording violated the automatic stay. The memorandum of judgment was an act to place a lien on real property, the 55-acres in Greene

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County. (735 ILCS 5/12-101). The Respondent pointed out that, at the time the memorandum of judgment was recorded, the title to the 55-acre property was in a trust, not in the name of Ronald Gibson, and the recording of the memorandum of judgment did not attach to that real property. (Tr. 639, 823). The foregoing point was addressed by District Court Judge Scott:

Narmont argues that he did not violate the stay because the Memorandum of Judgment did not create a lien on Gibson's farm property . . . because the property was titled in the name of the trustee of the land trust. This observation begs the question. Section 362 barred Narmont from taking any action to create a lien on property of the estate. Narmont took the prohibited act; he recorded the memorandum of judgment. Once the automatic stay is in effect, creditors cannot record memorandum of judgment against the debtors, regardless of whether the debtors actually own any real estate. That is the point of Section 362(a)(4). The fact that Narmont did not succeed in creating a lien did not change the fact that he took the prohibited act.

(In re Gibson, No. 09-3041. C.D. Ill. May 15, 2009) (Resp. Ex. 93 at 9-10).

In an opinion on February 28, 2010, Bankruptcy Judge Mary Gorman found that the Respondent violated the automatic stay by recording the memorandum of judgment. (Adm. Ex. 34 at 15-20). Judge Gorman also stated that, as a creditor or party in interest, the Respondent was bound by the Chapter 12 Plan of Reorganization (Resp. Exs. 24, 25) that he prepared in Ronald Gibson's bankruptcy, and "his conduct in filing the Memorandum of Judgment violated the terms of the confirmed Plan." (Adm. Ex. at 21-23).

We agree with reasoning and conclusions of Judge Scott and Judge Gorman, and find that the Respondent violated the automatic stay by recording the memorandum of judgment.

The Respondent also violated the automatic stay by taking action to collect on a claim that arose before the bankruptcy petition of Ronald Gibson was filed. The Respondent's requests for attorney's fees and expenses show that the amount in the memorandum of judgment included, in part, fees and expenses that preceded the filing of the bankruptcy petition. (See Resp. Exs. 13 at 8, 15-16, 21-22, 15 at 3-4, 11; Adm. Ex. 34 at 17).

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Therefore, we find that the Administrator proved by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent committed the following misconduct as charged in Count IV of the Amended Complaint: (a) breached his fiduciary duty; (b) represented a client when the representation of the client may be materially limited by the lawyer's own interests, in violation of Rule 1.7(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; (c) in the course of representing a client, made a statement of material fact or law to a third person which statement the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is false, in violation of Rule 4.1(a); (d) engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4); (e) engaged in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5); and (6) engaged in 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 V

The misconduct charged in Count V is based upon the Respondent recording a memorandum of judgment against his clients John and Frances Lovekamp.

The evidence showed that the Respondent represented the Lovekamps in a Chapter 12 bankruptcy proceeding, and filed the petition on their behalf on March 10, 2003. The Lovekamps' bankruptcy proceeding remained pending until closed on July 13, 2006. (Resp. Ex. 40; Resp. Ex 46 at 1, 12). On September 20, 2004, the Respondent filed a "Petition for Approval of Attorney Fees." (Resp. Ex. 46 at 10). The petition listed attorney fees and expenses totaling $17,193.75 and noted that Respondent had received payment of $8,230. Thus, the Lovekamps, according to the petition, had a balance due of $8,963.75. (Resp. Ex. 41 at 1, 10). On October 22, 2004, the bankruptcy judge approved the Petition for Approval of Attorney Fees "in the amount of $17,193.75 as of September 17, 2004." (Resp. Ex. 42). On October 26, 2004, without

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any communication to the Lovekamps, the Respondent recorded a memorandum of judgment against them in Sangamon County for the amount of $8,963.75 based upon the order of October 22, 2004. (Resp. Ex. 43).

As discussed in Count IV, above, a memorandum of judgment may only be based upon a final judgment, and an order regarding compensation in a bankruptcy case is not a final order until the case is completed. At the time the order of October 22, 2004 was entered and at the time the Respondent recorded the memorandum of judgment, based upon that order, the Lovekamps' bankruptcy case was still pending. Thus, the Respondent acted improperly by recording the memorandum of judgment and, by doing so, falsely represented that there was a final judgment against John and Frances Lovekamp.

Also, as discussed in Count IV, above, by recording the memorandum of judgment against his clients, the Respondent had a conflict of interest and breached his fiduciary duty.

The Administrator acknowledged that he was unable to sustain his burden of proof as to the charge that the Respondent violated the bankruptcy law by his conduct in regard to the Lovekamps. Thus, we find that charge was not proved.

Therefore, we find that the Administrator proved by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent committed the following misconduct as charged in Count V of the Amended Complaint: (a) breached his fiduciary duty; (b) represented a client when the representation of the client may be materially limited by the lawyer's own interests, in violation of Rule 1.7(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; (c) in the course of representing a client, made a statement of material fact or law to a third person which statement the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is false, in violation of Rule 4.1(a); (d) engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4); (e) engaged in

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conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5); and (f) engaged in 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 VI

The misconduct charged in Count VI arose out of the Respondent recording a memorandum of judgment against his clients Jeff and Rosemary Bagley and the company they owned, Bagley Farms Inc.

The evidence shows that in 2004 Jeff and Rosemary Bagley retained the Respondent to file a bankruptcy proceeding for them individually and for Bagley Farms, Inc., which they owned. On August 10, 2004, the Respondent filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition on behalf of Jeff and Rosemary Bagley (Resp. Ex. 50) and filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on behalf of Bagley Farms, Inc. (Adm. Ex. 44). The proceeding in regard to Bagley Farms Inc. was converted to a Chapter 12 bankruptcy on November 5, 2004. (Resp. Ex. 58 at 1, 9; Respondent's Answer to Amended Complaint, Count VI, par. 96-99).

On December 1, 2004, Respondent filed an "Application for Approval of Attorney Fees" in the bankruptcy proceeding of Bagley Farms, Inc. (Resp. Ex. 58 at 10). In the application, the Respondent attached an itemization pertaining to the "Chapter 11" proceeding, requesting fees and expenses of $4,521.05. (Resp. Ex. 52 at 3-6). That itemization also showed that Respondent had received a payment of $7,500, and, thus, the "credit balance" of Bagley Farms, Inc. was $2,978. 95. (Resp. Ex. 52 at 6). Also attached to the application was an itemization for both the "Chapter 11 and Chapter 12" proceedings (Resp. Ex. 52 at 8-11), which included the same items that were set forth in the Chapter 11 itemization. The Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 itemization showed a "credit balance of $2,716.45. (Resp. Ex. 52 at 1, 11). On December 15, 2004, the

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bankruptcy judge approved the Respondent's Application in the amount of $4,521.05. (Resp. Ex. 53).

On April 27, 2005, Respondent filed a "Petition for Approval of Attorney Fees" in the Bagley Farms, Inc. bankruptcy. (Resp. Ex. 58 at 13). This petition included an itemization for the "Chapter 11 and Chapter 12," and showed attorney's fees and expenses totaling $7,952.30. The petition also showed a "balance due" by Bagley Farms, Inc. of $452.30. (Resp. Ex. 55 at 7-8). The request for compensation Respondent filed on April 27, 2005, included attorney's fees and expenses that were included in the request for compensation he filed on December 1, 2004. (See Resp. Exs. 52 at 3-6, 55 at 3-5, 7). On May 5, 2005, the bankruptcy judge approved attorney fees in the amount of $452.30. (Resp. Ex. 56). On June 30, 2005, the Respondent recorded a memorandum of judgment against Bagley Farms, Inc, c/o Jeff & Rosemary Bagley, in Macoupin County for the amount of $4,521.05. (Resp. Ex. 54). The memorandum of judgment was based upon the order of December 15, 2004, described above. (Resp. Ex. 54 at 2). At the time the memorandum of judgment was recorded, the bankruptcy case of Bagley Farms, Inc. was still pending. (Resp. Ex. 58 at 14-20).

As discussed in Count IV above, a memorandum of judgment may only be based upon a final judgment, and an order regarding compensation in a bankruptcy case is not a final order until the case is completed. At the time the order of December 15, 2004, was entered, and at the time the Respondent recorded the memorandum of judgment based upon that order, the Bagley Farms, Inc. bankruptcy case was still pending. Thus, the Respondent acted improperly by recording the memorandum of judgment and, by doing so, falsely represented that the order of December 15, 2004, was a final judgment.

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We also note that the Respondent's own actions show that the order of December 15, 2004, which pertained solely to fees and expense in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy was not meant to be a final order. In his filing on December 1, 2004, the Respondent set out itemization for attorney's fees in addition to those for the Chapter 11 portion of the Bagley Farms, Inc. bankruptcy. That is, he claimed attorney's fees and expenses of $4,521.05 through "11/11/04" for the Chapter 11, and a total of $4,783.55 through "11/16/04" for both the Chapter 11 and Chapter 12. (Resp. Ex. 52 at 5, 11). Consequently, it was clear that the Respondent intended to seek approval of additional attorney's fees and expenses above the $4,521.05 the bankruptcy judge approved on December 15, 2004. Furthermore, the Respondent did file a subsequent request for additional compensation in April 2005, which was allowed on May 5, 2005. (Resp. Exs. 55, 56). When the Respondent recorded the memorandum of judgment on June 30, 2005, he knew that the most recent order approving compensation was the order of May 5, 2005, not the order of December 15, 2004.

At the time the order approving attorney's fees and expenses of $4,521.05 was entered on December 15, 2004, the Respondent's own pleading showed that Bagley Farms, Inc. did not owe him any money. Instead, Bagley Farms, Inc. had a "credit balance" of $2,716.45." (Resp. Ex. 52 at 11). Even after the order of May 5, 2005, was entered, Bagley Farms, Inc. owed the Respondent only $452.30. (Resp. Ex. 55 at 8; Resp. Ex. 56). Thus, by recording the memorandum of judgment the Respondent falsely represented that Bagley Farms. Inc. or Jeff and Rosemary Bagley owed him the amount of $4,521.05.

Also, as discussed in Count IV above, by recording the memorandum of judgment against his clients, the Respondent had a conflict of interest and breached his fiduciary duty.

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Therefore, we find that the Administrator proved by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent committed the following misconduct as charged in Count VI of the Amended Complaint: (a) breached his fiduciary duty; (b) represented a client when the representation of the client may be materially limited by the lawyer's own interests, in violation of Rule 1.7(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; (c) in the course of representing a client, made a statement of material fact or law to a third person which statement the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is false, in violation of Rule 4.1(a); (d) engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4); (e) engaged in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5); and (f) engaged in 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 VII

The misconduct charged in Count VII arises out of the Respondent recording a memorandum of judgment against his clients Tony and Darlene Myers.

The evidence showed that Tony and Darlene Myers hired the Respondent to represent them in a bankruptcy proceeding. On March 22, 2004, the Respondent filed a Chapter 12 bankruptcy petition on their behalf. (Resp. Ex. 62). The petition listed real property, including a residence. (Resp. Ex. 61 at 8). On April 19, 2004, an order was entered granting the Respondent's motion to convert the case to a Chapter 11 proceeding. (Resp. Ex. 69 at 21). On November 3, 2004, an order was entered granting the Respondent's motion to covert the case back to a Chapter 12 proceeding. (Resp. Ex. 69 at 14-15). On April 11, 2005, the bankruptcy court confirmed the Chapter 12 Plan. (Resp. Ex. 69 at 21). The bankruptcy case of Tony and Darlene Myers was closed on August 18, 2008. (Resp. Ex. 69 at 24).

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On December 1, 2004, Respondent filed an "Application for Approval of Attorney's Fees and Expenses." (Resp. Ex. 69 at 15). The portion of the application pertaining to the Chapter 11 proceeding requested attorney's fees and expenses in the amount of $10,302.25. (Adm. Ex. 55 at 5-12). The application also showed that Respondent had received a payment of $10,000 applied to the Chapter 12, and that the "Chapter 12 credit balance carried over to Chapter 11" in the amount of $8,304.75. Consequently, the "balance due" to Respondent was "$1,997.50." (Adm. Ex 55 at 1, 12). The application also contained an itemization showing attorney fees and expenses for the "Chapter 11 & Chapter 12-All Charges" of $12,322.50, and that there was a "balance due" of $2,322.50. (Adm. Ex. 55 at 14, 22). On December 15, 2004, the bankruptcy judge entered an order approving attorney's fees and expenses incurred in the Chapter 11 case "totaling $10,302.25 as of November 23, 2004." (Adm. Ex. 56; Resp. Ex. 64).

The Respondent filed a second request for compensation in the Myers bankruptcy case on April 27, 2005. (Resp. Ex. 69 at 22). The petition indicated that Respondent was entitled to attorney's fees of $6,778.75, and that the Myers had a "balance due" of $6,778.75. (Resp. Ex. 65). The bankruptcy judge entered an order on May 5, 2005, approving the attorney's fees in the amount of $6,778.75. (Resp. Ex. 66).

On June 30, 2005, the Respondent recorded a memorandum of judgment in Christian County against Tony and Darlene Myers for the amount of $10,302.25. (Adm. Ex. 61; Resp. Ex. 67). The memorandum of judgment was based upon the order of December 15, 2004. (Resp. Ex. 67 at 2).

As discussed in Count IV, above, a memorandum of judgment may only be based upon a final judgment, and an order regarding compensation in a bankruptcy case is not final until the case is completed. At the time the order of December 15, 2004 was entered, and at the time the

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Respondent recorded the memorandum of judgment based upon that order, the bankruptcy case of Tony and Darlene Myers was still pending. Additionally, there was a subsequent order, on May 5, 2005, approving attorney's fees in the Myers' case. Thus, the Respondent acted improperly by recording the memorandum of judgment based upon the order of December 15, 2004, and, by doing so, falsely represented that the order of December 15, 2004, was a final judgment.

We also note that the Respondent's own actions show that the order of December 15, 2004, which pertained solely to fees and expense in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy, was not meant to be a final order in the Myers bankruptcy proceeding. In his filing on December 1, 2004, the Respondent claimed attorney's fees and expenses of $10,302.25 for the Chapter 11, and a total of $12,322.50 for both the Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 (Adm. Ex. 55 at 12, 22), through November 12, 2004, and the case was still pending. Consequently, it was clear that the Respondent intended to seek approval of additional attorney's fees and expenses above the $10,302.25 the bankruptcy judge approved on December 15, 2004.

Furthermore, the memorandum of judgment recorded by the Respondent was for the amount of $10,302.25. (Resp. Ex. 67). However, at the time of the order on which the memorandum of judgment was based, the Myers owed the Respondent $2,322.50. At the time the subsequent compensation order was entered, on May 5, 2005, the Myers owed the Respondent amount of $6,778.75. Thus, when the Respondent recorded the memorandum of judgment on June 30, 2005, he falsely represented that the Tony and Darlene Myers owed him $10,302.25.

Also, as discussed in Count IV, above, by recording the memorandum of judgment against his clients, the Respondent had a conflict of interest and breached his fiduciary duty.

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Finally, for the reasons set out in Count IV, we also find that the Respondent violated the bankruptcy law by recording of the memorandum of judgment on June 30, 2005 against Tony and Darlene Myers. (11 U.S.C. Sections 362(a) and 362(c)(2)).

Therefore, we find that the Administrator proved by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent committed the following misconduct as charged in Count VII of the Amended Complaint: (a) breached his fiduciary duty; (b) represented a client when the representation of the client may be materially limited by the lawyer's own interests, in violation of Rule 1.7(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; (c) in the course of representing a client, made a statement of material fact or law to a third person which statement the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is false, in violation of Rule 4.1(a); (d) engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4); (e) engaged in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5); and (f) engaged in 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 VIII

The misconduct charged in Count VIII is based upon the Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition the Respondent filed on behalf of Russell Reed.

The evidence showed that the Respondent represented Russell Reed and, on March 5, 2008, filed a chapter 13 bankruptcy petition on behalf of Mr. Reed. Mr. Reed is a partner in the law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. He had borrowed funds from his retirement account and from his 401(k) account at Hinshaw & Culbertson. At the time of his bankruptcy proceeding, Mr. Reed owed $19,810.80 to his retirement account and $21,778.25 to his 401(k) account. Mr.

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Reed discussed the two loans with the Respondent before Mr. Reed's bankruptcy petition was prepared. (Tr. 51, 517, 528, 535).

In the bankruptcy petition the Respondent filed on behalf of Mr. Reed, the two loans were listed on "Schedule D- Creditors Holding Secured Claims." (Adm. Ex. 71 at 16). The creditor's name and mailing address for "installment loan 4/2005," which "mandated repayment under employment contract" in the amount of "$19,810.80," was listed as "Hinshaw & Culbertson, C/O John S. Narmont, 209 Bruns Lane, Springfield, IL 62702." The creditor's name and mailing address for "installment loan 11/2007," which "mandated repayment under employment contract" in the amount of "$21,778.25," was also listed as "Hinshaw & Culbertson, C/O John S. Narmont, 209 Bruns Lane, Springfield, IL 62702." The Respondent also filed a mailing matrix in which the mailing address for Hinshaw & Culbertson was listed as "C/O John S. Narmont, 209 Bruns Lane, Springfield, IL 62702." (Adm. Ex. 72 at 3). The evidence showed, and the Respondent acknowledged (Tr. 701-02), that he had no authority to list his own address for Hinshaw & CulbertsoN. Because of the false information the Respondent provided, correspondence from the bankruptcy court to Hinsahw & Culbertson would have been sent to the Respondent's office.

At a hearing in Mr. Reed's bankruptcy case on June 24, 2008, Bankruptcy Judge Mary Gorman raised the matter of the Respondent's address being listed for Hinshaw & CulbertsoN. Judge Gorman stated:

Mr. Narmont, I looked at this briefly to see what issues the Trustee might be raising. The one thing that I saw that I found very troubling was that there were several debts listed on schedules and in the plan to the creditor Hinshaw & Culbertson law firm. Hinshaw & Culbertson is shown on your schedules and on your mailing matrix as their address as care of John Narmont at your office address. What is that all about?

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The Respondent replied:

Judge, I think that we were trying to save him the - they knew that he's in a 13, they have a secured claim. He didn't - he was embarrassed and didn't want the notices to go to his office.

Judge Gorman then said:

That's a false schedule, Mr. Narmont. How can I possibly confirm a plan where there is a creditor scheduled for several obligations, where you have purposely filed schedules and a mailing matrix diverting official mail from this Court, the clerk's office of this Court, for a creditor to you? How could that possibly be right?

Judge Gorman then dismissed Mr. Reed's case, stating that it was filed in bad faith. (Adm. Ex. 78 at 4-5: Resp. Ex. 88).

Based upon the circumstances shown by the evidence, including the Respondent's statements to Judge Gorman, it is clear that the Respondent knowingly and deliberately make false statements in the bankruptcy petition and mailing matrix he filed on behalf of Russell Reed on March 5, 2008, for the purpose of misleading the bankruptcy court and of having notices and other correspondence intended for Hinshaw & Culbertson to be sent to the Respondent's office.

At the disciplinary hearing, the Respondent gave an explanation different than that he gave to Judge Gorman. He said the listing was "a mistake on behalf of my office people," and that he merely had a "short conversation" with his legal assistant, Billie Gordon, about the matter when the petition was being prepared. Specifically, he said "Billie Gordon . . . came to me and said we, something to the extent we want to show the numbers on the pension and the 401K, the dollar numbers, what do we do for an address, and I said I guess you can use it here." (Tr. 671-72). However, the Respondent was well aware of the loans before his short conversation with Ms. Gordon. The Respondent had discussed the loans with Mr. Reed during their first meeting in regard to Mr. Reed's bankruptcy. (Tr. 528, 535). We find the Respondent's testimony that his

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address was listed for Hinsahw & Culbertson because of the short conversation with Ms. Gordon to be unbelievable and false.

We also find that the Respondent's statement to Bankruptcy Judge Gorman that Hinshaw & Culbertson knew Mr. Reed was in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding was false. The Respondent had no factual basis for making the statement, and he knew he had no factual basis when he made the statement. See In re Nalick, 02 SH 63, M.R.19294 (May 17, 2004) (Hearing Bd. at 26-27).

The Respondent also testified that he now believes that Hinshaw & Culbertson should not have been listed as a creditor on Schedule D because the repayment of the loans Mr. Reed obtained from his retirement funds were owed to himself, not to Hinshaw & CulbertsoN. (Tr. 669-70, 680-81). We find that the foregoing position, even if correct, provides no justification or mitigation for the Respondent's conduct. If an attorney chooses to go down the wrong path, he still has to walk within the lines. In other words, having chosen to list Hinshaw & Culbertson as a creditor on Schedule D of Mr. Reed's bankruptcy petition, the Respondent was ethically obligated to do so honestly. As a result of the false information the Respondent provided on Schedule D, the bankruptcy case of Mr. Reed was dismissed.

We note that the Hinshaw & Culbertson law firm believes it is, in fact, a creditor in regard to the loans Mr. Reed obtained from the retirement funds. (Adm. Exs. 82, 86). In the subsequent bankruptcy petition filed on behalf of Mr. Reed by different counsel, Hinshaw & Culbertson was listed as a creditor on Schedule D. (Adm. Ex. 87). Additionally, the Respondent told Bankruptcy Judge Gorman that Hinshaw & Culbertson had "a secured claim." (Adm. Ex. 78 at 4).

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We further find that the Respondent's explanation for making an alleged inaccurate response to Bankruptcy Judge Gorman at the hearing June 24, 2008, is unbelievable and false.

Therefore, we find that the Administrator proved by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent committed the following misconduct as charged in Count VIII of the Amended Complaint: (a) made a statement of material fact or law to a tribunal which the lawyer knows or should know is false, in violation of Rule 3.3(a)(1) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; (b) in the course of representing a client, made a statement of material fact or law to a third person which statement the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is false, in violation of Rule 4.1(a); (c) engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4); (d) engaged in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5); and (e) engaged in 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 IX

The misconduct charged in Count IX arose out of the Respondent recording a memorandum of judgment against his clients John and Kathleen Frontone.

The evidence showed that John and Kathleen Frontone hired the Respondent to represent them in a bankruptcy proceeding. On December 30, 2002, the Respondent filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition on their behalf. (Resp. Ex. 76). The petition listed real property consisting of a residence. (Resp. Ex. 76 at 8). On August 6, 2003, the bankruptcy court confirmed the Chapter 13 Plan, which had the duration of 60 months. (Adm. Ex. 66). The Frontones' bankruptcy case was closed on February 4, 2008. (Resp. Ex. 80 at 14).

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On April 25, 2005, the Respondent filed a "Petition for Approval of Attorneys Fees. (Resp. Ex. 77). The petition listed attorney fees and expenses totaling $16,120.47 and noted that Respondent had received payment of $1,685. Thus, the Frontones, according to the petition, had a balance due of $14,435.47. (Resp. Ex. 77 at 2, 9-10). On June 22, 2005, the bankruptcy judge approved the Petition for Approval of Attorney Fees "in the amount of $14,435.47 as of May 25, 2005." (Resp. Ex. 78). It is noted that the amount approved by bankruptcy judge equaled the balance due by the Frontones, not the total amount of the attorney's fees and costs set out in the petition. On June 30, 2005, the Respondent recorded a memorandum of judgment against the Frontones in Logan County for the amount of $14,435.47, based upon the order of June 22, 2005. (Resp. Ex. 79).

As discussed in Count IV above, a memorandum of judgment may only be based upon a final judgment, and an order regarding compensation in a bankruptcy case is not final until the case is completed. At the time the order of June 22, 2005 was entered and at the time the Respondent recorded the memorandum of judgment, based upon that order, the bankruptcy case of John and Kathleen Frontone was still pending. Thus, the Respondent acted improperly by recording the memorandum of judgment and, by doing so, he falsely represented that the order of June 22, 2005, was a final judgment against John and Kathleen Frontone.

Also, as discussed in Count IV above, by recording the memorandum of judgment against his clients, the Respondent had a conflict of interest and breached his fiduciary duty.

Therefore, we find that the Administrator proved by clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent committed the following misconduct as charged in Count IX of the Amended Complaint: (a) breached his fiduciary duty; (b) represented a client when the representation of the client may be materially limited by the lawyer's own interests, in violation of Rule 1.7(b) of

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the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; (c) in the course of representing a client, made a statement of material fact or law to a third person which statement the lawyer knows or reasonably should know is false, in violation of Rule 4.1(a); (d) engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4); (e) engaged in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5); and (f) engaged in 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.

RECOMMENDATION

The purpose of the attorney disciplinary system is not to punish the attorney for his or her misconduct, but "to protect the public, maintain the integrity of the legal profession, and protect the administration of justice from reproach." In re Winthrop, 219 Ill. 2d 526, 559, 848 N.E.2d 961, 981 (2006). In determining the appropriate sanction, we must consider the nature and seriousness of the misconduct charged and proved, and any aggravating and mitigating circumstances shown by the evidence. In re Gorecki, 208 Ill. 2d 350, 360-61, 802 N.E.2d 1194, 1200 (2003). In addition, we may consider the deterrent value of the sanction, the "need to impress upon others the seriousness of the misconduct at issue," and whether the sanction will "help preserve public confidence in the legal profession." In re Twohey, 191 Ill. 2d 75, 85, 727 N.E.2d 1028, 1034 (2000); Gorecki, 208 Ill. 2d at 361.

Although each disciplinary case "is unique and must be resolved in light of its own facts and circumstances," the sanction imposed should be "consistent with those imposed in other cases involving comparable misconduct." In re Howard, 188 Ill. 2d 423, 440, 721 N.E.2d 1126, 1135 (1999); In re Chandler, 161 Ill. 2d 459, 472, 641 N.E.2d 473, 479 (1994).

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In this case, the Administrator requested a sanction of suspension for a period of two years. (Tr. 805). The Respondent contended that the appropriate sanction, if any, is a censure. (Tr. 834).

The misconduct charged and proved in this case was extremely serious. On various occasions between December 2003 and June 2008, the Respondent engaged in misconduct involving several clients. He had a conflict of interest in client matters (Counts I, II, IV, V, VI, VII, IX). In fact, he took affirmative steps directly adverse to the interests of his clients by recording the memorandums of judgment without his clients' knowledge or consent. He breached his fiduciary duty to his clients (Counts I, IV, V, VI, VII, IX). He failed to explain matters so that his clients could make informed decisions (Counts I, III). Additionally, the Respondent engaged in dishonest and deceitful conduct toward clients and courts (Counts II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX).

The Supreme Court has pointed out that misconduct toward clients is particularly serious.

Unethical conduct, especially, in attorneys' relationships with clients, must not and will not be taken lightly by the profession or by this court. In particular, respondent's attitude throughout this episode of his professional life demonstrates a failure to understand his duties to his clients, and either inability to recognize ethical problems or intentional disregard of professional ethics.

In re Gerard, 132 Ill. 2d 507, 541, 548 N.E.2d 1051, 1065 (1989).

The Supreme Court has also stated that "[h]onesty is an important factor in assessing a person's moral character" (In re Glenville, 139 Ill. 2d 242, 255-56, 565 N.E.2d 623, 629 (1990)), and that "any act which evidences a want of personal honesty or integrity may be sufficient to warrant disbarment" (In re Vavrik, 117 Ill. 2d 408, 413, 507 N.E.2d 1226, 1228 (1987); In re March, 71 Ill. 2d 382, 391, 376 N.E.2d 213, 216 (1978)).

There is significant mitigation to be considered in this case. The Respondent's testimony and the documents he submitted show that he has been involved in numerous volunteer services

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in the community for many years. He has also provided significant pro bono legal services. For example, the Respondent estimated that in each of the years 2008 and 2009 he performed about 115 hours of pro bono services. Additionally, seven judges testified as to the Respondent's very favorable reputation for honesty and integrity within the legal community. See In re Cutright, 233 Ill. 2d 474, 491, 910 N.E.2d 581, 591 (2009).

There is also aggravation in this case. The Respondent's misconduct did not arise from a single incident. Rather he engaged in a pattern of misconduct, over a five-year period and involving several clients. See Cutright, 233 Ill. 2d at 491. Also, the Respondent has failed to recognize his misconduct or understand the wrongfulness of his actions. For example, in Twohey, 191 Ill. 2d at 93, an attorney with 30 years experience acted with a conflict of interest. The Supreme Court stated that the attorney's "failure to recognize such a clear conflict of interest reveals a lack of understanding of his ethical obligations as an attorney." Furthermore, the Respondent did not accept full responsibility for his misconduct, particularly for documents that were false or misleading. Instead, he blamed members of his staff by describing the false information as a "clerical mistake," a "mistake on behalf of my office people," "somebody in the office screwed up," and a misunderstanding between himself and a legal assistant. (Tr. 603, 671-72, 676, 723). In his Answer to Count IV of the Amended Complaint, the Respondent stated that "including Rosa's name in the Memorandum of Judgment was a scrivener's error by Respondent's former bookkeeper, whom Respondent now believes was emotionally impaired." (Answer to Amended Complaint, Count IV, par. 59). However, the Respondent did not present any evidence to substantiate his allegation against his former bookkeeper. The Respondent merely acknowledged that he did not review documents as he should have. (Tr. 636-37). He even sought to cast some blame on a client, Mr. Reed. He explained to Bankruptcy Judge

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Gorman that the false address for Mr. Reed's employer was listed, in part, because Mr. Reed did not want his employer to know about the bankruptcy. The Respondent also sought to excuse or mitigate his "inaccurate" statements to Judge Gorman by asserting that they were made when he was "suffering from vertigo problems," "had a sense of imbalance," and "was taking a lot of medication." (Tr. 676, 738, 740). In other words the Respondent "justified and minimized his actions rather than accepting responsibility for them." In re Timpone, 208 Ill. 2d 371, 378, 804 N.E.2d 560, 565 (2004).

The Respondent did not voice nor show any remorse for the impact his actions have had on his clients or on the legal profession. The lack of remorse is an aggravating factor. See In re Mason, 122 Ill. 2d 163, 173, 522 N.E. 2d 1233, 1238 (1985); In re Lewis, 138 Ill. 2d 310, 348, 562 N.E.2d 198, 214 (1990).

The Respondent was previously disciplined. In re Narmont, 94 SH 41, M.R. 9785 (Mar. 30, 1994). In 1994 he received a censure for misconduct that occurred in the 1970s. The misconduct in the Respondent's current disciplinary case began in 2003, about 9 years after he had been previously disciplined. In determining whether prior discipline is a significant aggravating factor, the nature of the prior misconduct, that is whether it was similar to the current misconduct, and the length of time between the prior discipline and the current misconduct, are to be considered. In In re Masters, 98 CH 60, M.R. 17674 (Mar. 8, 2002) (Review Bd. at 39), the prior discipline, imposed 7 years before the current misconduct, was "not a significant aggravating factor" because the prior misconduct was "completely different." The prior misconduct was neglect, and the current misconduct involved dishonesty and making a false statement to a tribunal. Similarly, in In re Weitzman, 93 CH 511, M.R. 12217 (Mar. 6, 1996) (Review Bd. at 2-3), "little weight" was assigned to the attorney's prior discipline because the

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"nature of the prior misconduct was significantly different." In 1982 the attorney was disciplined for failure to file income tax returns, and his current misconduct, which commenced in 1988, consisted of neglect and making misrepresentations to clients.

Although there was about 9 years between the Respondent's prior discipline and the time his current misconduct commenced, there are significant similarities between the Respondent's prior misconduct and his current misconduct. The Respondent's prior misconduct arose from his preparing wills and a codicil for a client in which the Respondent received bequests. By doing so, he represented a client while he had a conflict of interest, without the client's consent following full disclosure. The Respondent failed to advise his client of the conflict of interest or of the possible effects of the conflict. Additionally, the Respondent acknowledged that he did not recognize that a conflict of interest existed. In re Narmont, 94 CH 41, M.R. 9785 (Mar. 30, 1994) (Petition to Impose Discipline on Consent at 1-5). The Respondent's current misconduct also involved conflicts of interest and failing to advise clients of the conflict or the nature thereof. Additionally, the Respondent has again failed to recognize he had conflicts of interest with his clients. Based upon the similarity between the nature the Respondent's prior misconduct and his current misconduct, we find that the Respondent's prior discipline is an aggravating factor for us to consider.

Another aggravating factor is the harm or reasonable risk of harm an attorney's misconduct caused. See In re Saladino, 71 Ill. 2d 263, 276, 375 N.E.2d 102, 107 (1978); In re Welzien, 05 CH 89, M.R. 21730 (Sept. 18, 2007) (Hearing Bd. at 15). The Supreme Court has recognized that "harm" is not limited to financial harm. In In re Smith, 168 Ill. 2d 269, 285, 659 N.E.2d 896, 903 (1995), the Court rejected the respondent's attempt to mitigate his neglect of client matters by claiming they suffered no prejudice because their cases were eventually

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resolved. The Court stated that the long delays by the respondent "caused considerable and needless anxiety" and that the respondent's "claim that his clients did not suffer from his misconduct ignores the anguish that his inaction necessarily inflicted upon his clients." In the case before us, Rosa Gibson testified that the Respondent's actions caused stress for her and Ronald Gibson. (Tr. 466). John Lovekamp testified that he was denied credit to purchase an engagement ring because of the Respondent's memorandum of judgment against him. (Tr. 104-05). Kathleen Frontone testified that she had to pay the highest interest rate possible when she purchased a car because of the affect the Respondent's memorandum of judgment had on her credit report.(Tr. 134-36). Russell Reed was embarrassed by a newspaper article that "made it sound like Mr. Narmont and I were trying to do something sneaky." Mr. Reed also found it necessary to hire a different attorney for his bankruptcy matter after his first petition was dismissed because of the Respondent's misconduct. Thus, the Respondent's misconduct was harmful to his clients.

Finally, as pointed out in our findings, the Respondent was not fully candid and truthful in his testimony at the disciplinary hearing. In Gorecki, 208 Ill. 2d at 366, the Supreme Court stated that "a lack of candor before the Hearing Board is a factor that may be considered in aggravation."

The misconduct and the overall facts and circumstances in the cases cited by the Respondent, in which censures were imposed (Tr. 834), are significantly less egregious than in this case. In In re Grammer, 04 SH 119, M.R. 20521 (Jan. 13, 2006), the attorney filed a final report in a probate matter that contained two false statements, which the attorney should have known were false. The Hearing Board found that the evidence did not prove that the attorney intentionally or deliberately sought to deceive or mislead the court. There was no pattern of

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misconduct, no prior discipline, no self-serving motive, and the attorney acknowledged her misconduct. The attorney was involved in "numerous professional and community activities" and three character witnesses testified as to her good reputation for honesty and integrity. Grammer, 04 SH 119 (Hearing Bd. at 21-23). In In re Stewart, 01 CH 72, M.R. 18254 (Sept. 19, 2002), the attorney "negligently" failed to disclose in a bankruptcy petition real property that the client had transferred within the prior year. While the attorney should have known the schedule of assets was false, there was no charge of dishonesty. There was no pattern of misconduct and the attorney had no prior discipline. (Petition to Impose Discipline on Consent at 1-2). In In re Nagler, 07 CH 12, M.R. 23644 (May 17, 2010), the attorney engaged in neglect and breached his fiduciary duty by causing lengthy and unexplained delay in filing returns and paying estate taxes. As a result of the misconduct, a monetary penalty of $237,000 was imposed. The attorney did not misuse funds or engage in any intentional dishonesty or deceit. There was no pattern of misconduct, the attorney had no prior discipline in his 40 years of practice, a "number of witnesses attested to his good character and established that he has done work in the community and on behalf of charitable causes." The attorney "admitted his responsibility and expressed sorrow and regret over his actions." Also, the attorney agreed to pay the penalties and interest from his own share of the pertinent trust. (Hearing Bd. at 24-25, 47-48).

While recognizing that each disciplinary case is different, with unique facts and circumstances, we believe the following cases support a suspension in this case.

In In re Reynolds, 32 Ill. 2d 331, 205 N.E.2d 429 (1965), the attorney authorized or condoned the filing of his affidavits in nine bankruptcy cases that falsely stated he would not accept compensation from his clients until filing fees and referee's costs were paid in full. In fact, the attorney had requested and received compensation. Because of the false affidavits, his

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clients were allowed to file their bankruptcy petitions without paying filing fees. The Supreme Court stated that the attorney's conduct is "wholly alien to what the courts and the public are entitled to expect of an attorney," and imposed a suspension for a period of six months. (Reynolds, 32 Ill. 2d at 336-38. While the number of false documents filed with the court was greater in Reynolds than in the case before us, the misconduct in Reynolds did not include conflicts of interest with or dishonesty toward clients, taking affirmative actions that conflicted with clients' interests, a breach of fiduciary duty, or a self-serving motive.

In In re Foley, 98 CH 04, M.R.15023 (Sept. 25, 1998), the attorney filed a bankruptcy petition on behalf of a husband and wife (who were undercover F.B.I. agents) that contained false information regarding their income. The attorney then advised them to lie under oath at a creditors' meeting and to provide misleading tax information to the trustee. The attorney was 37 years of age and had no prior discipline in his 12 years of practice; he accepted responsibility for his misconduct; he expressed remorse; he had provided pro bono services; and he engaged in "significant charitable activity. (Petition to Impose Discipline on Consent at 2-3). The attorney was suspended for a period of two years.

In In re Nalick, 02 SH 63, M.R. 19294 (May 17, 2004), the misconduct arose out of one bankruptcy proceeding. The attorney provided false information in his clients' bankruptcy petition. He knew some of the information was false and should have known other information was false. At a creditors' meeting, the attorney failed to correct false information given by his client, and he made statements to the trustee for which he had no reasonable factual basis. Also, the attorney failed to comply with the trustee's three requests for information. The attorney was previously disciplined, two years earlier, for mishandling escrow funds. The mishandling of the funds was the result of "carelessness," and he expressed remorse for his actions. The attorney

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"did not present any evidence in mitigation." (Hearing Bd. at 18-29, 38-40). The attorney was suspended for a period of one year.

In In re Snowden, 91 CH 188, M.R. 10039 (May 19, 1994), the attorney neglected two civil cases, which resulted in one of the cases being dismissed and a default judgment being entered in the other. Additionally, the attorney neglected a bankruptcy case and knowingly made false statements in a motion filed in the bankruptcy court. The Hearing Board stated that the attorney's "demeanor and statements at the hearing displayed a complete lack of contrition or acceptance of responsibility for his conduct or compassion for the injury inflicted upon his clients." (Hearing Bd. at 12-13). In mitigation, five judges testified as to the attorney's excellent reputation fro truthfulness and diligence," and there was evidence that the attorney had provided pro bono services. (Review Bd. at 9). The attorney was suspended fro a period of one year.

In In re Hays, 05 SH 03, M.R.21050 (Sept. 21, 2006), the attorney knowingly filed a false document in his own dissolution of marriage proceeding, in that he signed his wife's name to the marital settlement agreement without her knowledge. When he appeared in court on the matter, also without his wife's knowledge, he made false statements to the judge. The attorney's motive was self-serving. He self-reported his action, admitted his misconduct, and expressed remorse. The chief judge of the circuit testified that the misconduct was "totally out of character" for the attorney." (Review Bd. at 7-10); (Hearing Bd. at 14-15). The attorney was 67 years of age and was previously disciplined, 15 years earlier, for dishonesty arising out of a completely different type situation. The Review Board stated that the prior discipline was an aggravating factor, but "not a highly significant one." (Review Bd. at 11). The attorney was suspended for a period of one year.

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After considering the nature of Respondent's misconduct, the mitigation and aggravation shown by the evidence, the cases cited by the parties, the other cases discussed above, and the purpose of a disciplinary sanction, we conclude that a suspension for one year is the appropriate sanction in this matter.

Therefore, we recommend that the Respondent, John Stephen Narmont, be suspended from the practice of law for a period of one (1) year.

Date Entered: April 21, 2011

Richard W. Zuckerman, Chair, with Elizabeth N. Carrion and Richard J. Mark, Hearing Panel Members.