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

In the matters of:

KURT ALEXANDER MULLER,

No. 6192657,

and

TODD ADAM WALTERS,

No. 6227205,

Attorney-Respondents. 

 

Commission No.  09 CH 47

 

 

Commission No. 09 CH 48

JOINT STIPULATION OF FACTS

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Meriel Coleman, and Respondent Kurt Alexander Muller, by his attorney, Algis Augustine and Respondent Todd Adam Walters, by his attorney Robert Merrick, that the following facts could be proven by clear and convincing evidence at hearing:

1. On January 24, 2007, Respondent Muller and Respondent Walters filed The Muller Firm's substitution of attorneys appearance on behalf of Evelyn Gasher ("Evelyn") in her then pending petition for dissolution of marriage from Douglas Gasher ("Douglas"). The matter was pending in Cook County under the assigned case number 06 D 4687.

2. On January 29, 2007, Respondent Muller and Respondent Walters, on behalf of Evelyn, filed a document entitled Petition For Issuance of a Rule to Show Cause, Petition for Temporary Child Support, and A Petition for Temporary Child Support in case number 06 D 4687.

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3. On February 5, 2007 and February 9, 2007, the Honorable David Delgado conducted a hearing in case number 06 D 4687 to determine whether Douglas should be held in civil contempt for violating a court order.

4. On February 9, 2007, after Judge Delgado adjourned the proceedings in case number 06 D 4687 and left the bench, Respondent Muller, Respondent Walters, Evelyn, Douglas, and his attorney, Barbara Lusky, continued to have discussions about the case.

5. During the course of the discussions with Douglas, Respondent Muller and Respondent Walters made inappropriate and unprofessional references to what they believed would be Douglas' experience should he be sent to jail, including references to body searches that he would or would not endure and the song "Jail House Rock".

6. At the time Respondent Muller and Respondent Walters made the statements references in paragraph 5, above, they knew that the statements served no substantial purpose other than to harass or embarrass Douglas. Respondent Muller and Respondent Walters acknowledge that their comments were inappropriate and unprofessional.

7. Respondent Muller's and Respondent Walters' conduct in making statements to Douglas was inconsistent with Rule 1.2(f)(1), Rule 4.4, and Rule 8.4(a)(5) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct and Supreme Court Rule 770 by defeating the administration of justice.

Facts relating to mitigation:

8. Respondent Muller has been admitted to practice since 1986. He was previously censured in an unrelated matter. See In re Muller, M.R. 21027, 04 CH 139

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(September 21, 2006) Respondent Walters has been admitted to practice since 1995 and has never before been disciplined.

9. Respondent Muller and Respondent Walters have cooperated in these proceedings and have expressed remorse for their conduct. Respondent Muller has completed the Commission's Professionalism Seminar. Respondent Walters agrees to complete the Commission's Professionalism Seminar within six months of the conclusion of this matter.

 Respectfully submitted,


Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Attorney Registration &
Disciplinary Commission

Kurt Alexander Muller,
Respondent

By: Meriel Coleman
Counsel for Administrator
130 E. Randolph Dr., Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60601
Telephone: (312) 565-2600

By: Algis Augustine
Counsel for Respondent
Augustine, Kern, Levene, Ltd.
218 North Jefferson Dr., Suite 202
Chicago, IL 60661
Telephone: (312) 648-1111

 

Todd Adam Walters,
Respondent

By: Robert A. Merrick.
Robert A. Merrick, Jr., Ltd
53 West Jackson Blvd., Suite 1235
Chicago, IL 60604
312-922-0772

 

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

In the matters of:

KURT ALEXANDER MULLER,

No. 6192657,

and

TODD ADAM WALTERS,

No. 6227205,

Attorney-Respondents. 

 

Commission No.  09 CH 47

 

 

Commission No. 09 CH 48

REPRIMAND

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by the Hearing Board members whose names are affixed hereto, administer this reprimand to Kurt Alexander Muller and Todd Adam Walters:

1. Respondent, Kurt Alexander Muller, was admitted to practice in Illinois in 1986. Respondent, Todd Adam Walters, was admitted to practice in Illinois in 1995 and has never before been disciplined.

2. On August 12, 2009, the Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission filed an amended complaint against Respondent Muller and Respondent Walters charging them with engaging in harassing conduct directed towards an opposing party is dissolution of marriage proceedings.

3. The Administrator, Respondent Muller, and Respondent Walters have entered into a stipulation concerning the facts of this case. The Panel adopts the stipulation, and a copy of the stipulation is attached to this reprimand.

4. The Panel agrees with the Administrator, Respondent Muller, and

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Respondent Walters that based upon the facts described in the stipulation, a reprimand is the appropriate discipline herein.

5. The Panel has considered mitigating factors such as Respondent Walters' lack of prior discipline and both Respondent Muller's and Respondent Walters' cooperation during the pendency of these charges before the Hearing Board.

6. The purpose of disciplinary proceedings is to determine whether professional misconduct occurred and what sanction should be imposed. Sanctions are imposed not to punish the attorney, but to protect the public, maintain the integrity and reputation of the bar, protect courts and the administration of justice from reproach, and deter the respondent and other attorneys from misconduct. See e.g., In re Levin, 101 Ill.2d 535, 463 N.E.2d 715 (1984); In re Lamberis, 93 Ill.2d 222, 443 N.E.2d 549 (1982).

7. The result in this matter is consistent with the outcome of other cases involving comparable misconduct, including In re Cwik, 89 CH 860, in which an attorney was reprimanded for sending a letter to opposing counsel in a divorce case which made reference to sending someone over to perform a "clitorectomy" on opposing counsel.

8. In the instant case, Respondent Muller's and Respondent Walters' conduct is similar to the conduct that formed the basis for a reprimand in Cwik, in that each attorney engaged in conduct that had no purpose, other than to harass, towards the opposing side in a divorce proceeding. Respondent Muller and Respondent Walters have acknowledged that their conduct towards Gasher was inappropriate and unprofessional.

9. In view of the matters set forth above, the Panel has determined that the appropriate sanction in the instant case is a reprimand.

REPRIMAND

To: Kurt Alexander Muller

1. You are being reprimanded making statements to Douglas Gasher that had no purpose other than to embarrass or harass.

2. You have admittedly engaged in conduct inconsistent with Rule 1.2(f)(1), Rule 4.4, and 8.4(a)(5) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct and Supreme Court Rule 770 by defeating the administration of justice as a result of your making statements to Douglas Gasher that had no purpose other than to embarrass or harass. You are therefore reprimanded not to repeat the conduct which has resulted in the imposition of discipline.

3. You are further advised that while this reprimand is not formally presented to the Supreme Court, it is not to be taken lightly. This reprimand is a matter of public record and is on file with the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and may be admitted into evidence in the event that there are disciplinary proceedings against you in the future.

Date Entered: April 8, 2010

Mark L. Karasik, Chair, with Hearing Panel members

Jessica A. O'Brien and Eddie Sanders Jr. concurring

 

REPRIMAND

To: Todd Adam Walters

1. You are being reprimanded making statements to Douglas Gasher that had no purpose other than to embarrass or harass.

2. You have admittedly engaged in conduct inconsistent with Rule 1.2(f)(1), Rule 4.4, and 8.4(a)(5) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct and Supreme Court Rule 770 by defeating the administration of justice as a result of your making statements to Douglas Gasher that had no purpose other than to embarrass or harass. You are therefore reprimanded not to repeat the conduct which has resulted in the imposition of discipline.

3. You are further advised that while this reprimand is not formally presented to the Supreme Court, it is not to be taken lightly. This reprimand is a matter of public record and is on file with the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission and may be admitted into evidence in the event that there are disciplinary proceedings against you in the future.

Date Entered: April 8, 2010

Mark L. Karasik, Chair, with Hearing Panel members

Jessica A. O'Brien and Eddie Sanders Jr. concurring