2006 Annual Report Highlights 2006 Annual Report of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission

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    IIlllliinnooiiss LLaawwyyeerr PPooppuullaattiioonn ß There were 81,146 registered lawyers of October 31, 2006, reflecting a modest 1.4%

    increase from the year before. The number of newly admitted lawyers in 2006, however, set a record high, 2,249.

    RReeccoorrdd NNuummbbeerr ooff LLaawwyyeerrss PPrraaccttiicciinngg OOuuttssiiddee IIlllliinnooiiss ß 60,370 Illinois lawyers reported a principal business address within Illinois. Another

    20,776 attorneys reported a business address outside state boundaries, the highest number ever and an increase of almost 10% from the year before.

    AAggiinngg ooff tthhee PPrrooffeessssiioonn ß There has been an 11% increase in the lawyer population aged between 50 and 74 over

    the past ten years.

    PPrroo BBoonnoo LLeeggaall SSeerrvviicceess ß The 2006 Annual Report provides a report on the amount of pro bono legal services

    performed by Illinois attorneys in 2006. Last year, 25,334 lawyers indicated that they provided such services totaling, in the aggregate, 2,088,209 worth of service hours. In addition, 12,471 lawyers reported making a total of $17,423,168 in contributions to organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means.

    CClliieenntt PPrrootteeccttiioonn PPrrooggrraamm ß The Client Protection Program was created by the Supreme Court to reimburse clients

    who lost money as a result of the dishonest conduct by a lawyer. Last year, the program paid 111 claims totaling $843,054, the second biggest year for award payments. In September 2006, the Court imposed an annual assessment of $25 upon each lawyer in order to adequately fund the program. The new assessment will provide more than $1.5 million in 2007 for the payment of claims. Due to this increase, the maximum allowed claim payment rose from $25,000 to $50,000. Nine other states have $50,000 per-claim caps, and 15 have higher caps. .

    GGrriieevvaanncceess

    ßß ARDC docketed 5,801 investigations involving 4,080 Illinois lawyers, a 4.6% decrease from the prior reporting period and the least number of charges filed against members of the bar since 2000. More than 68% of all grievances allege either a lawyer’s failure to communicate or neglect. About 5% of the investigations resulted in the filing of formal disciplinary charges.

  • FFoorrmmaall DDiisscciipplliinnaarryy CChhaarrggeess ß Formal disciplinary complaints were filed against 97 attorneys in 2006. The vast majority

    of formal charges involved allegations of misconduct by lawyers with more than 10 years experience, 84%.

    DDiisscciipplliinnaarryy SSaannccttiioonnss ß The Supreme Court sanctioned 144 lawyers, 68 of them by consent. Of those disciplined,

    32 were disbarred. The majority of sanctioned lawyers, 69%, practiced in Cook County. More lawyers were disciplined for conduct involving fraud than any other offense.

    RReeppoorrtt oonn PPrroobbaattiioonnaarryy SSaannccttiioonnss ß The 2006 Annual Report provides a report on the status of disciplinary probation

    sanctions. Since 1981, 2,440 lawyers have been sanctioned and 250 of those attorneys were suspended and then placed on disciplinary probation. A significant number of probation orders (almost 60%) involved substance abuse, substance dependence or mental impairment, where the lawyer was either in recovery or had received treatment for the impairment. Over the course of the 25-year study, less than 12% of those placed on probation violated the terms of discipline and probation was revoked.

    NNeeww aanndd AAmmeennddeedd RRuulleess ß The Illinois Supreme Court adopted new rules providing for the conditional admission of

    newly admitted attorneys. The Court also ordered all Illinois lawyers to report, during the ARDC registration process, the amount of pro bono legal services they have performed as well as the amount of money donated to legal service organizations providing pro bono services. The Court further required lawyers to place client funds in trust accounts maintained only at financial institutions. Finally, the Court increased the registration fees paid by active lawyers admitted for three years or more from $239 to $289.

    AARRDDCC WWeebb SSiittee ßß For the 2007 registration year, 27,000 lawyers were able to register on-line or make

    changes to their registration information on the ARDC website.

    OOuuttrreeaacchh aanndd tthhee EEtthhiiccss IInnqquuiirryy PPrrooggrraamm ß ARDC staff made more than 100 presentations to bar associations, law firms, law

    schools, continuing legal education groups and civic associations last year. The ARDC hosted a professional responsibility CLE program in Champaign in association with local bar associations for almost 500 lawyers. Finally, ARDC lawyers fielded over 3,100 calls from lawyers seeking guidance as part of the Ethics Inquiry Program.

    FFiinnaanncciiaall RReeppoorrtt ß For 2006, ARDC revenue from lawyer registration fees increased only 1.7% over fees

    collected in 2005. Expenditures decreased slightly, due primarily to the departure of staff, some of whom were not replaced and others of whom were replaced at lower salaries. At the end of the fiscal year, funding reserves would have funded operations for less than five months. The Illinois Supreme Court, however, granted a registration fee increase to support adequate future funding.

  • Chicago April 27, 2007

    To the Honorable, the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court of Illinois:

    The annual report of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission for 2006 is submitted to the Court, to the members of the Bar of Illinois, and to the public in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 751.

    The report is a statement of activities of the Commission for calendar year 2006 and an accounting and audit of the monies received and expended during the twelve-month period that ended December 31, 2006.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Benedict Schwarz II, Chairman Derrick K. Baker Patricia Campbell Bobb John R. Carroll R. Michael Henderson John Paul Kujawski Brian McFadden, Commissioners

    Jerome Larkin, Administrator

  • 2006 Annual Report 3

    I. Registration Report The Master Roll of attorneys registered to practice law in Illinois for the year 2006 contained the

    names of 81,146 attorneys as of October 31, 2006. After that date, the Commission began the 2007 registration process, so that the total reported as of October 31, 2006, does not include the 2,249 attorneys who first took their oath of office in November or December 2006. Despite the fact the number of newly- admitted lawyers was a record high, the 2006 registration total shows a modest 1.4% increase over 2005 (see Chart 17A).

    Chart A shows the demographics for the lawyer population in 2006. The most noticeable change was in the aging of the legal population. There was over the last 10 years an 11% rise in the number of lawyers 50-74 years old. Chart B shows the breakdown by the registration categories set forth in Rule 756.

    Chart A: Age, Gender and Years in Practice for Attorneys Registered in 2006

    Gender

    Female ..................................................................... 33% Male......................................................................... 67%

    Years in Practice

    Fewer than 10 years.................................................. 29% 10 years or more....................................................... 71%

    Age

    21-29 years old........................................................... 6% 30-49 years old......................................................... 55% 50-74 years old......................................................... 36% 75 years or older......................................................... 3%

    Chart B: Registration Categories for 2006

    Category Number of Attorneys

    Admitted between January 1, 2005, and October 31, 2006......................................................................... 3,161 Admitted between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2004 ..................................................................... 4,743 Admitted before January 1, 2003 ............................................................................................................ 60,293 Serving active military duty......................................................................................................................... 216 Serving as judge or judicial clerk .............................................................................................................. 1,892 Birthday before December 31, 1930.......................................................................................................... 1,874 In-House Counsel........................................................................................................................................ 323 Foreign Legal Consultant ................................................................................................................................ 9 Legal Services Counsel ................................................................................................................................... 3 Inactive status .........................................................................................