Adrian Vuckovich and Kathryne Hayes represent attorneys at all stages of the disciplinary process. Mr. Vuckovich and Ms. Hayes have both handled a wide variety of disciplinary matters that have been successfully resolved.
Many ARDC investigations begin with a letter to the lawyer asking the lawyer to respond to a request for investigation within 14 days. Statements made to the ARDC are critical. We respond on behalf of the lawyer. Sometimes, after the initial response, the lawyer is asked to provide additional information or sit for a sworn statement. The investigation will either be closed or sent to what is known as the inquiry panel.
The inquiry panel determines whether a formal complaint will be filed against the lawyer. If a complaint is filed, the complaint becomes a matter of public record and goes before a hearing board.
The Hearing Board proceeding is heard by a 3-member panel (2 lawyers and one lay person). Dispositive motions are not permitted before the ARDC Hearing Board. Complaints are typically resolved by discipline on consent or contested hearing (trial). We have resolved disciplinary matters to the lawyer’s satisfaction by way of discipline on consent. When discipline on consent is not an option, we go to trial before the Hearing Board. Following the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Board issues a written recommendation. After receiving the Hearing Board’s recommendation, either party may file “exceptions” to the recommendation of the Hearing Board.
The Review Board acts as an appellate level of review. The Review Board considers the briefs of the parties and hears oral argument. The Review Board issues its own Report & Recommendation.
The Illinois Supreme Court
Following the Review Board's Report & Recommendation, either side may petition the Illinois Supreme Court for a petition for leave to file exceptions. If no appeal is taken by either side, the matter is still considered by the Illinois Supreme Court. This is because only the Illinois Supreme Court may enter an order disciplining an Illinois attorney. (The exception is reprimands which are issued by the Hearing Board.)
A person who has been disbarred or suspended until further Order of the Court may petition the Illinois Supreme Court for reinstatement of his or her law license. We represent and guide petitioners in the reinstatement process and represent petitioners at their reinstatement hearing.
ethics and responsibility/liability counseling
Avoiding ARDC issues and legal malpractice claims can save a lawyer stress and an interruption in practice.
We regularly advise lawyers on professional obligations, duties, and legal ethics. We advise attorneys and law firms on matters such as advertising, issues with clients, conflicts of interest, the unauthorized practice of law, IOLTA (client fund) issues, First Amendment issues, and more.
DEFENSE OF PROFESSIONALS
We routinely defend lawyers and law firms in a variety of legal malpractice complaints. We also represent lawyers facing sanctions motions or contempt proceedings.
Adrian Vuckovich and Kathryne Hayes are the co-authors of the Conflicts chapter of IICLE's Attorneys' Legal Liability Chapter (2022 Edition).