BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD

OF THE

ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION

AND

DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION

In the Matter of:

STANLEY ANTHONY WALTON, III,

Attorney-Respondent,

No. 2935716.

Commission No. 2015PR00117

FILED --- December 23, 2015

COMPLAINT

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Lea S. Gutierrez, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 753(b), complains of Respondent, Stanley Anthony Walton, III, who was licensed to practice law in Illinois on November 18, 1965, and alleges that Respondent has engaged in the following conduct, which subjects him to discipline pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 770:

FACTS COMMON TO ALL COUNTS

1. At all times alleged in this complaint, Supreme Court Rule 756(a) required that, on or before the first day of January of each year, every attorney admitted to practice law in Illinois, with stated exceptions that do not apply to Respondent, register and pay to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission ("the Commission"), any registration fee due according to the provisions of the rule.

2. At all times alleged in this complaint, Supreme Court Rule 756(a)(5) permitted an attorney to register with the Commission as inactive, and for such periods as the attorney remains on inactive status, he would not be eligible to practice law or hold himself out as authorized to practice.

3. On January 8, 2008, Respondent registered as inactive with the Commission pursuant to Rule 756(a)(5) and paid the reduced registration fee required for inactive status. Respondent remained on inactive status until March 15, 2010. Between January 8, 2008, and March 15, 2010, Respondent was on inactive status and was not authorized to practice law, or to hold himself out as so authorized.

4. On March 15, 2010, after Respondent notified the Administrator in writing of his desire to resume active status and paid the required additional fee, the ARDC restored Respondent to active status by the ARDC.

5. On January 3, 2013, Respondent again registered as inactive with the Commission pursuant to Rule 756(a)(5) and paid the reduced registration fee. As of January 3, 2013, Respondent was not authorized to practice law, or to hold himself out as so authorized.

6. At all times alleged in this complaint, Supreme Court Rule 794 required every attorney admitted to practice law in Illinois to complete certain minimum continuing legal education (hereinafter, "MCLE") requirements.

7. At all times alleged in this complaint, Supreme Court Rule 796 required that all attorneys report their completion of MCLE credit hours to an MCLE board. The rule also required the Administrator, after being informed of an attorney's failure to comply, to send notice to any attorney not in compliance with the rule informing him that his name would be removed from the roll of licensed attorneys in Illinois on a date no sooner than 21 days from the date of the notice if the attorney did not comply with the rule.

8. At all times alleged in this complaint, Supreme Court Rule 756(g) provided that the Administrator, on February 1 of each year, remove from the master roll of attorneys authorized to practice law in Illinois the name of any attorney who has not registered for that year as required by Supreme Court Rule 756(a). Rule 756(g) further stated that any person whose name is not on the master roll and who practices law or holds himself out as being authorized to practice law in Illinois has engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.

9. On or about October 28, 2013, the Administrator sent a notice to Respondent at his registered address informing him that the deadline to comply with MCLE requirements was November 25, 2013. As of February 13, 2014, Respondent had not complied with his MCLE requirements, and, on that date, the Administrator removed Respondent's name from the roll of attorneys because of his failure to comply with Supreme Court Rules 794 and 796.

10. As of March 12, 2014, Respondent had not registered with the Commission for 2014 pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 756. On March 12, 2014, the Administrator recorded Respondent's failure to register as a second basis for his removal from the roll of attorneys authorized to practice law in Illinois, and mailed Respondent a letter notifying him of this additional basis for his removal from the roll of attorneys licensed to practice law in Illinois.

11. At all times alleged in this complaint, Illinois Supreme Court Rule 756(a)(6) provides in part, that:

An attorney may advise the Administrator in writing that he or she desires to assume retirement status, and thereafter, register as a retired attorney. Upon such registration, the attorney shall be placed on retirement status and shall no longer be eligible to practice law or hold himself or herself out as being authorized to practice law in this state…

12. In or about December 2014, Respondent notified the ARDC that he wished to be transferred to retired status. As a result of his request, on December 24, 2014, Respondent was placed on retired status. As of November 19, 2015, the date that the Inquiry Board voted to file a complaint in this matter, Respondent remained on retired status. At no time after February 13, 2014, the date that Respondent was removed from the master roll for failing to comply with MCLE requirements, did Respondent comply with his MCLE requirements. Therefore, Respondent remained removed from the master roll for that reason.

COUNT I
(Misrepresentation to a Court, Unauthorized Practice of Law)

13. In 1971, Respondent's father, Stanley Walton, Jr., and Joan Walton married. At the time of their marriage, Stanley had three children, Respondent, Christopher and Jonathan, and Joan had three children, Catherine, Victoria and Robert. Stanley Walton died in 1999 and, Joan Walton died on September 28, 2007.

14. On or about December 17, 2007, Respondent caused a complaint to be filed on behalf of himself and his brothers, Christopher and Jonathan, pro se, in the Circuit Court of DuPage County alleging tortious interference with an expected inheritance against their stepsister, Catherine Feeley regarding the estate of Joan Walton. The Complaint purports to be signed by Respondent and his brothers. The clerk of the court assigned the matter case number 2007 L 1328, Stanley A. Walton III, Christopher Walton and Jonathan Walton v. Catherine Feeley.

15. On December 17, 2007, Respondent filed a demand for a jury trial and an affidavit of damages, both of which Respondent signed "For All Plaintiffs, Pro Se."

16. After Respondent registered as inactive on January 8, 2008, and continuing until June 24, 2008, Respondent filed pleadings and appeared in court on his own behalf and on behalf Christopher and Jonathan in relation to case number 2007 L 1328.

17. On March 11, 2008, Respondent filed a verified motion for default judgment and damage award in case number 07 L 1328. Respondent began the pleading with the phrase "now come plaintiffs, pro se…" Respondent's was the only signatory on the verified motion. The motion was scheduled to be heard on March 17, 2008.

18. On March 17, 2008, Respondent appeared before Judge Dorothy French in 07 L 1328 on behalf of himself and his brothers, who were not present. Judge French entered an order, which Respondent prepared, granting Respondent's motion for default, and scheduled the matter for prove-up on April 22, 2008. The prove-up was continued to June 24, 2008.

19. At no time during the March 17, 2008 court appearance in 07 L 1328 did Respondent inform the court that he was not on active status and was not authorized to practice law or to represent his brothers.

20. On June 24, 2008, Respondent appeared with his brothers before Judge French in case number 07 L 1328. In the course of those proceedings, Respondent orally identified himself as: "Stanley Walton, appearing pro se. All plaintiffs are appearing pro se." Subsequently, the following exchange took place:

The Court: Are you an attorney?

Respondent: Yes.

The Court: I thought so because you speak attorney.

Respondent: I hope that's a compliment.

21. At various times during the June 24, 2008 court appearance, both before and after Respondent informed the judge that he was an attorney, Respondent spoke on behalf of himself and his brothers by making the following statements: "Now our claim is for one half of the estate;" "[a]nd it's basically a contract that was breached, and we're entitled under the contract to one half of the value of the estate;" "[s]econdly, our claim in this suit is not against the estate;" and "[i]f we win, we're entitled to an amount of money that happens to equal half the estate."

22. At no time during the June 24, 2008 hearing did Respondent's brothers address the judge.

23. At no time during the June 24, 2008, court appearance in 07 L 1328 did Respondent inform the court that he was not on active status and was not authorized to practice law or to represent his brothers.

24. Respondent's statement that he was an attorney and his repeated use of the words "we," "we're," and "our" when referring to the plaintiffs was false and misleading, because he omitted that he was registered as inactive, and that due to his registration status he was not authorized to practice law or hold himself out as authorized to do so.

25. At the time of Respondent's statement to Judge French that he was an attorney while omitting his registration status, and at the time that he used the words "we," "we're,", and "our" when referring to the plaintiffs in case number 07 L 1328, Respondent knew that his statements, as described in paragraphs 20 and 21, above, were false and misleading.

26. On June 24, 2008, the court entered a default judgment in favor of Respondent and his brothers, and against Catherine Feeley in 2007 L 1328 for one-half the value of Joan Walton's estate, in the amount of $175,000.

27. By reason of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. practicing law in a jurisdiction where doing so violates the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction by reason of his appearances in court and pleadings filed on behalf of his brothers in case number 2007 L 1328, while Respondent was on inactive status and not authorized to practice law, in violation of Rule 5.5(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010); and

  2. knowingly making a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or failing to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer, by omitting to inform the judge that he was on inactive status and not authorized to practice law while making statements on behalf of his brothers in relation to case number 2007 L 1328, in violation of Rule 3.3(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

  3. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation by conduct including failing to inform the court in case number 2007 L 1328 that he was not on active status and therefore not authorized to practice law and by making statements on behalf of his brothers when he was not authorized to practice law or hold himself out as authorized to do so, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).

COUNT II
(Unauthorized practice of law)

28. The Administrator realleges the facts set forth in paragraphs one through 26 of Count I, supra.

29. On December 19, 2007, Victoria Suriano, Catherine's sister, filed a petition for probate of will and for letters testamentary in the Circuit Court of DuPage County. The clerk of the court assigned the matter case number 2007 P 1091, In re the Estate of Joan Walton. Suriano attached a copy of Joan Walton's June 8, 2006, will, which named only her children, Victoria Suriano, Catherine Feeley and Robert Skinner as her heirs.

30. On January 4, 2008, Respondent filed in case 2007 P 1091 a Will Contest: Petition for Specific Performance of Mutual and Reciprocal Wills on behalf of himself and brothers Christopher and Jonathan in 2007 P 1091.

31. After Respondent registered as inactive on January 8, 2018, and while he continued to remain on inactive status, Respondent continued to file pleadings on behalf of himself and Christopher and Jonathan in 2007 P 1091, including the following:

Date Pleading Filed

Description of Pleading

March 11, 2008

Response of Will Contestants to "Motion to Dismiss"

May 7, 2008

First Amended Claim to Enforce Agreement Concerning Mutual and Reciprocal Wills, and for Liquidated Proceeds of Estate

September 10, 2008

Motion to Compel Full Detail of Condo Sale

September 10, 2008

Cross-Motion

October 20, 2008

Response of Will Claimant to Executor's Motion to Dismiss

January 22, 2009

Second Amended, and also verified, claim to enforce agreement

April 3, 2009

Response of Claimants to Executor's Motion to Dismiss

May 7, 2009

First Amended Claim to Enforce Agreement Concerning Mutual and Reciprocal Wills

August 24, 2009

Joint case management conference order (which Respondent signed as "Attorney for Plaintiff")

September 21, 2009 and January 15, 2010

Commissions to take deposition in Nevada

November 24, 2009

First Set of Rule 213 Interrogatories

January 22, 2010

Motion by Claimants to Compel Executor Deposition and Compel Interrogatory Answers

January 27, 2010

Response of Claimants to Executor Motion to Compel

32. In Respondent's proofs of service for the pleadings filed on January 22, 2009, April 3, 2009, May 7, 2009, November 24, 2009, January 22, 2010, and January 27, 2010, as listed in the chart in paragraph 31, above, Respondent states "I certify that I am an attorney and a party to the foregoing lawsuit and that I served the document described below on counsel of record…"

33. Respondent's certification in his proofs of service that he was an attorney was false and misleading because Respondent registered as inactive, and therefore was not authorized to practice law or hold himself out as authorized to do so.

34. At the time Respondent filed each pleading described in paragraph 31, above, Respondent knew that his certification in his proofs of service that he was an attorney was false and misleading.

35. Respondent knew that his certification was false and misleading because Respondent knew that as a result of his inactive registration status, he was not authorized to practice law or hold himself out as authorized to practice law in this state.

36. At the conclusion of the two pleadings Respondent filed on September 10, 2008, Respondent demand that "fees and costs" be awarded "to the Walton Claimants."

37. Between January 8, 2008, and March 15, 2010, John Kenney, counsel for the estate in 2007 P 1091, served all pleadings upon Respondent as counsel for his brothers and Kenney's notices of filing often referred to Respondent as "Stanley A. Walton III, Esq." Further, in written communications, counsel for the estate referred to Respondent as "Counsel" and referred to Respondent's brothers as Respondent's "clients." Respondent also spoke to Kenney by telephone. At no time did Respondent inform Kenney that he was on inactive status and was not authorized to practice law or to represent his brothers or anyone else.

38. Respondent's failure to correct Kenney's statements as described in paragraph 37, above was false in that in that Respondent was not authorized to practice law or hold himself out as authorized to practice law between January 8, 2008 and March 15, 2010.

39. During the time that Kenney made the statements described in paragraph 37, above, Respondent knew his failure to correct Kenney's statements was a falsity.

40. Between January 8, 2008, and March 15, 2010, Respondent appeared in court on behalf of himself and his brothers in 2007 P 1091 on approximately 20 occasions.

41. On April 7, 2008, Respondent appeared in court on behalf of himself and his brothers in 2007 P 1091 and identified himself by stating "Stanley Walton pro se for the claimants." On September 15, 2008, Respondent appeared in court on behalf of himself and his brothers in case number 2007 P 1091 and identified himself by stating "Stanley Walton representing the claimants and the claimant pro se." On November 24, 2008, Respondent appeared in court on behalf of himself and his brothers in 2007 P 1091 and identified himself by stating "Stanley Walton for the claimants." On May 18, 2009, Respondent appeared in court on behalf of himself and his brothers in 2007 P 1091 and identified himself by stating "Stanley Walton, good morning, Your Honor, on behalf of the claimants."

42. At no time between January 8, 2008 and March 15, 2010 did Respondent inform the court that he was not authorized to practice law.

43. Prior to January 29, 2010, John Kenney researched Respondent's registration status and determined that Respondent was not authorized to practice law. On January 29, 2010, Kenney informed the court of Respondent's status and the court informed Respondent that if he was on inactive status, while he could appear pro se, he could not represent his brothers in 2007 P 1091. The court asked Respondent to remedy his status.

44. On March 15, 2010, after Respondent registered as active and paid the associated fees, Respondent was restored to active status by the ARDC. On March 31, 2010, he entered his appearance for Christopher Walton and Jonathan Walton.

45. By reason of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. practicing law in a jurisdiction where doing so violates the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction by conduct including appearing in court and filing pleadings on behalf of his brothers in case numbers 2007 P 1091, and 2007 L 1328, while Respondent was on inactive status and not authorized to practice law, in violation of Rule 5.5(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010); and

  2. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation by conduct including failing to inform the court that he was registered as inactive and failing to correct opposing counsel when opposing counsel referred to him as "Stanley A. Walton III, Esq.", while Respondent was on inactive status and not authorized to practice law, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).

COUNT III
(Filing a Baseless Pleading Solely to Harass Feeley and Suriano)

46. The Administrator realleges the facts set forth in paragraphs 28 through 44 of Counts I and II, supra.

47. At no time in pursuing his claim for estate assets on behalf of himself and his brothers in 2007 L 1328, and prior to obtaining the June 24, 2008, judgment against Catherine Feeley, did Respondent inform Judge French that he was also pursuing funds from the estate of Joan Walton contemporaneously in 2007 P 1091.

48. Prior to May 20, 2011, neither Feeley, nor Victoria Suriano, the executor of the estate of Joan Walton, were aware of the default judgment Respondent had obtained against Feeley in 07 L 1328 in the amount of $175,000, as described in paragraph 26 of Count I, above.

49. On or about May 20, 2011, Respondent, Christopher Walton and Jonathan Walton (collectively "the Waltons") entered into a settlement agreement in 07 P 1091, resolving all claims relating to the Waltons against the Estate of Joan Walton. The Waltons released the estate of any and all claims in exchange for the payment of $25,000 each.

50. On May 20, 2011, Respondent filed a citation to discover assets to third party in 07 L 1328, directed to Victoria Suriano, executor of the Estate of Joan Walton, seeking to use funds from the estate to pay the June 24, 2008 default judgment he had obtained against Catherine Feeley in the amount of $175,000, plus interest in the amount of $45,938, and costs, for a total of $221,073.

51. Respondent's action in filing the citation to discover assets against Catherine Feeley, and serving it on Suriano, was intended solely to harass Feeley and Suriano, was vexatious and had no legal basis, and had no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay or burden Suriano and Feeley.

52. On June 27, 2011, Suriano filed a motion for discovery sanctions in 07 P 1091, on the basis that Respondent had failed to inform her of the June 24, 2008, default judgment he had obtained in 07 L 1328.

53. On July 15, 2011, Feeley filed a motion to vacate the judgment in 07 L 1328, on the basis that Respondent was not authorized to practice law at the time that he appeared in court and filed pleadings in 07 L 1328, and because Respondent had filed the citation to discover assets despite the settlement agreement which all parties had entered into in case number 07 P 1091 in the interim.

54. On July 15, 2011, Feeley filed a motion to satisfy judgment in 07 P 1091, referencing Respondent's citation to discover assets, on the basis that the Walton's settlement agreement served as a release on the estate of all claims of the Waltons.

55. Suriano and Feeley paid additional attorney's fees in both 2007 P 1091 and 2007 L 1328 to prepare the responsive pleadings set forth in paragraphs 52, 53, and 54 above.

56. On August 4, 2011, the court dismissed Respondent's citation to discover assets in 07 L 1328, and dismissed 07 L 1328 with prejudice based upon the agreement of the parties.

57. On October 12, 2011, the court entered an agreed order in 07 P 1091 closing the estate and dismissing all motions.

58. By reason of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. bringing or defending a position, or asserting or controverting an issue therein, without a basis in law or fact for doing so that is not frivolous, by filing the citation to discover assets in 2007 L 1328 when the settlement agreement he signed in 07 P 1091 released his claim upon Walton's estate, in violation of Rule 3.1 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and

  2. using means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass or burden a third person, or using methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of such a person, by conduct including filing a citation to discover assets and attempting to collect on his default judgment against Catherine Feeley after entering into the settlement agreement, in violation of Rule 4.4 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.

COUNT IV
(Unauthorized practice of law-client Cindy Chiappe-Kay)

59. Prior to October 27, 2009, while Respondent was registered as inactive, Respondent and Cindy Chiappe-Kay ("Chiappe-Kay") agreed that Respondent would initiate a claim on behalf of Chiappe-Kay relating to her dispute with Donald and Nancy Barthel over ownership of two seats to Chicago Bears football games. At the time that Respondent agreed to initiate a claim on behalf of Chiappe Kay, Respondent informed Chiappe-Kay that he was on inactive status and was not authorized to practice. Respondent and Chiappe-Kay also agreed that Respondent would prepare pleadings related to her dispute for her signature, and that he would do so on a pro bono basis.

60. On or about October 27, 2009, Respondent prepared a "pro se" verified complaint for specific performance for Chiappe-Kay, obtained the signature of Chiappe-Kay as a purported pro se litigant, and caused that complaint to be filed in the Circuit Court of DuPage County. The clerk of the court assigned the matter case number 09 CH 5084, entitled Cindy Chiappe-Kay v. Donald Barthel, Nancy Barthel and the Chicago Bears Football Club, Inc., a Corporation.

61. On November 16, 2009, Chiappe-Kay agreed to voluntarily dismiss defendant Chicago Bears Corporation.

62. On or about March 3, 2010, Respondent caused to be filed alias summonses for Nancy Barthel and Donald Barthel in 09 CH 5084.

63. On March 15, 2010, Respondent was returned to active status and on April 9, 2010, Respondent filed his appearance on behalf of Chiappe-Kay in 09 CH 5084. Respondent actively pursued Chiappe-Kay's claim thereafter, filing several pleadings, representing her at her deposition, defendants' depositions, and appearing in court. On December 11, 2012, Respondent filed his appellant's brief in 2-12-0975, which was struck by the court on its own motion for Respondent's violations of Supreme Court Rules 341 and 342.

64. On January 15, 2013, after Respondent registered as inactive on January 2, 2013, Respondent refiled his appellant's brief on behalf of Chiappe-Kay in 2-12-0975. Respondent signed the appellant's brief above the words "Stanley Walton, Attorney for Appellant/Plaintiff." Respondent also signed a proof of service that certified that he was an attorney.

65. On March 7, 2013, Respondent filed a reply brief on behalf of Chiappe-Kay in 2-12-0975. Respondent signed the reply brief and the appellant certificate of compliance above the words, "Stanley Walton, Attorney for the Plaintiff/Appellant." Respondent also signed a proof of service that certified that he was an attorney.

66. Prior to April 17, 2013, the second district appellate court contacted the ARDC regarding Respondent's registration status and was informed that as of January 3, 2013, Respondent was on inactive status and was not authorized to practice law.

67. On April 17, 2013, the court entered a minute order in 2-12-0975 directing Respondent to file an affidavit with the court indicating on what basis he was authorized to file his appellant's opening and reply briefs.

68. On May 9, 2013, Respondent filed an affidavit in response to the court's April 17, 2013, order regarding his registration status. Respondent attached a letter to the ARDC dated May 7, 2013, requesting that he be returned to active status. In his affidavit, Respondent informed the court that "Affiant simply had a knee-jerk wish to save $237 and also to avoid future CLE requirements." Respondent further stated that "Affiant believes that this situation regarding attorney status…is an ARDC matter."

69. On May 14, 2013, Respondent was returned to active status by the ARDC.

70. On June 7, 2013, the court entered an order in 2-12-0975 affirming the district court's orders granting summary judgment and denying the motion for restitution.

71. On June 12, 2013, as directed by the second district appellate court, the clerk of the court filed a request for investigation with the ARDC into Respondent's conduct in filing of two appellant's briefs when he was not authorized to practice law. Shortly thereafter, the Administrator docketed investigation number 2013IN02765.

72. On July 10, 2013, the Administrator sent Respondent a letter asking him to send information to the Administrator regarding the allegations of the clerk of the second district appellate court. On or about July 18, 2013, Respondent sent the Administrator a letter stating that he "did not represent any entity other than Ms. Chiappe-Kay in the past year ‘in any way.' Nor [did he] plan to ever do so again." He went on to say that he "will most probably formally ‘retire' at the end of 2013."

73. On or about July 24, 2014, based upon Respondent's representation in his July 10, 2013 letter that he did not plan to represent any one ever again, as described in paragraph 72, above, and based upon the fact that he had subsequently registered as retired, the Administrator closed investigation number 2013IN02765.

74. On or about April 15, 2015, the Administrator received a request for investigation from attorney Karen Donnelly alleging that Respondent had held himself out to her as authorized to practice law when he was registered as retired. As a result, on March 26, 2015, the Administrator reopened investigation number 2013IN02765

75. By reason of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. practicing law in a jurisdiction where doing so violates the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction by reason of providing legal services to Chiappe-Kay while in inactive status, including preparing and filing the initial complaint and two appellate briefs, in violation of Rule 5.5(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

  2. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation by conduct including his involvement in the Chiappe-Kay claim without advising anyone of his registration status, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).

COUNT V
(Unauthorized practice of law-client Caryn Leake)

76. On April 30, 2010, the court entered a judgment for dissolution of marriage in Circuit Court of LaSalle County case number 10 D 184, entitled Caryn Leake v Charles Leake.

77. On December 23, 2014, Charles ("Charles") Leake, through his attorney Karen Donnelly, filed a petition to set specific visitation in 10 D 184. The petition was served on Caryn ("Caryn") Leake by mail on December 24, 2014, and it notified her of a February 11, 2015, hearing date on the motion.

78. In late January 2015, after Respondent had been placed in retired status on December 24, 2014, Respondent and Caryn agreed that Respondent would represent Caryn in responding to the petition of Charles. Respondent and Caryn agreed that Respondent would represent Caryn on a pro bono basis. At that time, Respondent telephoned Donnelly to inform her that he would be representing Caryn.

79. On February 3, 2015, Donnelly sent a letter to Respondent acknowledging his telephone call, and setting forth her proposals for her client's visitation schedules. Respondent received Donnelly's February 3, 2015 letter on or about February 9, 2015, and emailed Donnelly to state that he needed to discuss the proposals with Caryn. Respondent stated: "Please ‘enter and continue' your motion on Wednesday. I would ask for at least two weeks, maybe 30 days."

80. On February 11, 2015, Donnelly emailed Respondent the following:

"I will continue the Leake matter for 2-3 weeks out. I will appear today and let the judge know we are working on a possible settlement of all issues. In the meantime, I spoke with my client, who indicated that he would request two 2-week periods of visitation in the summer months when the children are out of school. We wait your reply after you discuss this matter with your client."

81. On February 11, 2015, Donnelly appeared in 10 D 184 and informed the court of her communications with Respondent. The court entered an order stating that "being advised that Attorney Stanley Walton will be entering his Appearance on behalf of the Petitioner, by agreement of the parties, it is hereby ordered that this matter is continued to March 9, 2015…"

82. On February 11, 2015, Donnelly emailed Respondent forwarding him a copy of the court's February 11, 2015, order in 10 D 184, and informing him of the March 9, 2015, court date.

83. On February 27, 2015, Donnelly sent a letter to Respondent asking him if he has had a chance to speak with his client prior to the March 9, 2015, court date.

84. Prior to March 9, 2015, Respondent telephoned Donnelly to ask her to convey to the court his request for a brief continuance. On March 9, 2015, Donnelly appeared in court in 10 D 184, and conveyed Respondent's request. On that date, the court entered an order continuing the matter to April 15, 2015. The court noted that Respondent had yet to enter his appearance for Caryn, and ordered Respondent to enter his appearance on or prior to the April 15, 2015, court date. The court further ordered that all parties must be present at the next court appearance in 10 D 184.

85. By letter dated March 9, 2015, Donnelly forwarded to Respondent a copy of the court's March 9, 2015, order in 10 D 184. Donnelly also enclosed a proposed agreed order "for review with your client."

86. On March 28, 2015, Respondent emailed Donnelly and requested that status of the matter stating "What's going on? We last communicated on March 8. No calls. No emails." Donnelly responded that she had mailed him the court's March 9, 2015, order and Respondent stated that he had not received that letter. Donnelly informed Respondent that the next court date was April 15 and Respondent asked Donnelly to re-email the documents to him.

87. On April 11, 2015, Respondent emailed Donnelly stating that he had received her letter, that Caryn was ill, and that he would call her "Monday morning."

88. On or about April 13, 2015, Respondent and Donnelly spoke by telephone. Respondent informed Donnelly that he was on retired status, and did not to appear in court for that reason, but hoped that the parties would be able to settle matters out of court. Donnelly informed Respondent that if he was on retired status, he was not authorized to practice and she could no longer speak to him regarding the matter.

89. On April 15, 2015, Caryn and Donnelly appeared in court in case number 10 D 184. Respondent did not appear. Donnelly informed the court that Respondent had acknowledged that he was not authorized to practice law in their April 13, 2015, telephone conversation with Respondent. The parties requested a continuance to settle the matter. The court continued the matter to May 22, 2015.

90. At no time between their initial conversation in January 2015, and April 13, 2015, did Respondent inform Donnelly that he was on retired status and not authorized to practice law in Illinois.

91. Respondent's failure to inform Donnelly that he was on retired status was false and misleading because Respondent was not authorized to practice law in Illinois or hold himself out as authorized to do so.

92. Between the time of Respondent's initial conversation in January 2015 and April 13, 2015, Respondent knew that his failure to inform Donnelly that he was on retired status was false and misleading.

93. At no time did Respondent inform the court in 10 D 184 that he was on retired status and not authorized to practice law.

94. On or about April 15, 2015, Respondent sent an email to Donnelly stating that Caryn had informed him what took place in court. Respondent also stated "It seems that I, unlicensed though I am, am still involved in the dialogue. If you want to fire me, let me know. I will withdraw immediately. I assume that you will be drafting something arising out of the discussion you had with Ms. Brieschke. You can send it to me and/or Ms. Brieschke. It will be looked at and we will get back to you promptly…more promptly than previously.-----Stanley Walton."

95. On April 15, 2015, Donnelly sent Respondent an e-mail responding that "I can no longer speak to you regarding this matter, nor can I ‘fire' you or ask that you ‘withdraw' from ‘representing' Caryn Brieschke since you are not currently licensed to practice law."

96. On April 20, 2015, Respondent sent Donnelly and email stating as follows:

"(1) Done! You persuaded me. I am fucking done communicating with youse…….lawyer babe.

(2) But you never answered my question: Are youse gonna draft something….anything…..and send it to……well, to someone???

(3) The snail-mail address for Mrs. Caryn Brieschke you already know. Fyi, it is 1011 Grant Place, Wauconda, Illinois 60084.-------GOOD FUCKING LUCK, SWEETIE!!!---stanley."

97. By reason of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. practicing law in a jurisdiction where doing so violates the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction by reason of his handling of the Leake post-dissolution matter after being placed on retirement status, in violation of Rule 5.5(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010); and

  2. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation by conduct including his involvement in the Leake post-dissolution matter without advising anyone prior to April 13, 2015 that he was on retired status and not authorized to practice law, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

  3. using means in representing a client that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person, by requesting continuances in a matter when he knew he was not authorized to practice law, and by using harassing and intimidating language in his April 20, 2015 email to Donnelly, in violation of Rule 4.4(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).

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.

Lea S. Gutierrez
Counsel for the Administrator
One Prudential Plaza
130 East Randolph Drive, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60601-6219
Telephone: (312) 565-2600

Respectfully submitted,

Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission

By:  Lea S. Gutierrez