BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD
ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION
In the Matter of:
Commission No. 2011PR00136
FILED - December 1, 2011
Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Gary S. Rapaport, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 753(b), complains of Respondent, Robert T. Hall, who was licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois on October 29, 1980, and alleges that Respondent has engaged in the following conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute:
1. Between 1994 and July 6, 2010, Respondent was an associate judge in the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Sangamon County, Illinois. During 2010, the Honorable Christopher Perrin ("Judge Perrin") also was an associate judge in the Seventh Judicial Circuit.
2. On April 30, 2010, Judge Perrin's daughter, a minor, received a traffic citation for allegedly disobeying a road closure sign in Leland Grove, Illinois, in Sangamon County. The matter was docketed as case no. 2010 TR 017760 in the Seventh Judicial Circuit, and a first appearance was scheduled for Monday, June 7, 2010, before Respondent.
3. On June 2, 2010, on the sixth floor of the Sangamon County building, Respondent and Judge Perrin conversed on court business, and Respondent complained about the unusually large traffic call that he had on the coming Monday. Judge Perrin told Respondent that his daughter's case was on that docket and that it conflicted with a missionary trip that she had planned for that week. Respondent told Judge Perrin that he would continue his daughter's case.
4. On June 2, 2010, following his above-described conversation with Judge Perrin, Respondent directed the Circuit Clerk's office to send the file in case no. 2010 TR 017760 to his chambers. Respondent received the file later the same day.
5. On or about June 4, 2010, the Honorable John Mehlick ("Judge Mehlick"), who was another associate judge, agreed to take one-half of the traffic call scheduled for Monday, June 7. The Court Administrator assigned Respondent to take the cases of defendants whose last names began with letters A through O, and Judge Mehlick to take the cases of defendants whose last names began with letters P through Z.
6. At no time did Respondent forward the Circuit Clerk's file in case no. 2010 TR 017760 to Judge Mehlick. Respondent retained the file in his chambers.
7. On June 7, 2010, Respondent entered an order on the cover of the Circuit Clerk's file in case no. 2010 TR 017760 dismissing the citation, and he checked boxes on the file cover that stated that the citation was dismissed on the motion of the State due to insufficient evidence. Following his court call, Respondent placed the file with other Circuit Court files from his call in which he had entered orders, and he returned them to the Circuit Clerk's office.
8. Respondent's above-described representations that the State had moved to dismiss case no. 2010 TR 017760 and that he had allowed the motion were false, and he knew that they were false. At no time had the State's Attorney's office moved for the dismissal of the case.
9. Respondent intended by his actions described in paragraphs Six, Seven and Eight, above, to deceive the Circuit Clerk, the public and others about the basis for the dismissal of Judge Perrin's daughter's traffic citation and conceal his ex parte actions.
10. On June 10, 2010, after Respondent's above-described misrepresentations were discovered, at the direction of Chief Circuit Judge Patrick Kelley, Respondent vacated his order dismissing case no. 2010 TR 017760 and recused himself from the case.
11. On July 2, 2010, Judge Perrin's daughter entered a plea of guilty to the charge of disregarding a traffic control device. The Honorable April Troemper imposed a sentence consisting of a $75 fine.
12. By reason of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:
conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);
conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010); and
conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute, in violation of Supreme Court Rule 770.
WHEREFORE, the Administrator requests that this matter be assigned to a panel of the Hearing Board, that a hearing be held, and that the panel make findings of fact, conclusions of fact and law, and a recommendation for such discipline as is warranted.
Gary S. Rapaport
Illinois Attorney Registration and
One North Old Capitol Plaza, Suite 333
Springfield, IL 62701
Telephone: (217) 522-6838