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Criminal Procedure – Sanctions

Criminal Procedure

Where an attorney failed to appear for oral argument and failed to file a brief that complied with the rules, a $1,000 sanction is appropriate.

“We conclude that Finn has acted unprofessionally and that a public censure is in order. See Redwood v. Dobson, 476 F.3d 462, 470 (7th Cir. 2007) (citing In re Charges of Judicial Misconduct, 404 F.3d 688, 695-96 & n.3 (2d Cir. 2005)) (explaining that censure is a more ‘opprobrious’ sanction than a reprimand or an admonishment). We also fine Finn $1000, payable to the Clerk within 14 days. To leave a client unrepresented on the morning of oral argument is nothing short of appalling; that Finn seems to have tossed Clark to the wind just because he did not feel like showing up in court is simply astonishing. And Finn’s thoughtless approach to preparing his main brief likewise is inexcusable. Other clients, present or potential, ought to be aware. And because we have no desire to inflict upon anyone a lawyer with such a cavalier approach to the duties owed his clients, we will refrain for 24 months from appointing Finn to any appeals under the Criminal Justice Act. At that point, Finn may apply to be reinstated to the roll of eligible lawyers. Finally, we direct the clerk of this court to send a copy of this opinion to the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois to determine whether additional sanctions are appropriate.”


10-2254 U.S. v. Clark

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, McDade, J., Rovner, J.

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