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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Things NOT to Ask President Obama



All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke


DON'T ASK:  Did you and your wife Michelle BOTH surrender your Attorney's licenses because of:

a) Making a statement of material fact in connection with a bar application that the applicant knows to be false; 
b) Committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's fitness to practice law; 
c) Engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; 
d) Engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice; 
e) Engaging in conduct which brings the courts or the legal profession into disrepute?

WHY:  Because the complaint submitted to the board claimed all 5 infractions were true.

Kenneth G. Jablonski, Clerk
Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission
One Prudential Plaza, 130 East Randolph Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, Illinois 60601-6219

RE: Barack Hussein Obama, Esquire
Admitted to bar December 17, 1991
Rec # 358694732

INSTEAD ASK:  It's wonderful that you & Michelle both have such similar interests.  But was the real reason to hide public access to both of your license records, to hide Michelle's exposure during your campaign BEFORE your election, and then hide your public exposure AFTER you won the election?  The mystery is what you both were trying to hide.



OR IF YOU HAVE A LITTLE MORE TIME, YOU COULD ASK THEM THIS:

WAZZUP with the Bar Complaint below?

BAR COMPLAINT

1. Please note below what Barack Hussein Obama, Esquire admitted to and why any reasonable person would conclude that what he did or failed to do was improper according to the rules and ethical standards established by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

Filed July 22, 2008

In re Barak Hussein Obama
Commission No. ___ CH __

Synopsis Of Complaint and Recommended Report

NATURE OF THE CASE: 
a) making a statement of material fact in connection with a bar application that the applicant knows to be false; b) committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's fitness to practice law; c) engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; d) engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice; and e) engaging in conduct which brings the courts or the legal profession into disrepute.

RULES DISCUSSED: Rules 8.1; Rule 8.4(a)(3); 8.4(a)(4); 8.4(a)(5) of
the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct and Supreme Court Rule 771

SANCTION: Disbarment

Filed July 22, 2008

BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD OF THE ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION AND
DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION

In the Matter of:

BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA,

Attorney-Respondent,

No. ________.

Commission No. ___ CH _____

EVIDENCE

The Respondent first admitted illegal drug use by disclosing it in his book, Dreams from My Father.  Obama, Barack.  Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. New York: Three Rivers Press, 1995. 

In that book he admitted, "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it.  Not smack, though." pp. 93-94. The Respondent knew that his activities were illegal.  The drug use occurred from as early as high school at least until he completed his bachelor's degree in New York City.  He entered law school in 1988, living in and traveling in Somerville and Cambridge. He graduated from law school in 1991.

In about early 1991, Respondent submitted his application to take the Illinois bar exam, in which he attested that his answers to the questions were true and correct. In the Character and Fitness section, questions 18 and 19 included the following statement:


NOTE. In connection with your answer to questions 18 and 19, you are advised that no statute, court order, or legal proceeding withholding adjudication, expunging information from any record, sealing any record, or purporting to authorize any person to deny the existence of occurrence of any information or matter shall excuse less than full disclosure of any information or matter otherwise required to be disclosed herein.  You must answer questions 18 and 19; the attachment of letters from law enforcement agencies in lieu of an answer is not acceptable.  Information provided in response to one of the two questions need not be reported in response to the other.


18. Have you ever, either as an adult or juvenile, been cited, arrested, accused, formally or informally, or convicted of any violation of any law other than moving traffic violations.

In response to question 18, it is understood the Respondent answered "no." The Respondent did not disclose his multiple drug use occurring through his time in high school and college.

By this time in his life he was very mature and sophisticated person that he either did or should have given a great deal of consideration to his response to question 18 a great deal of consideration.  He has not disclosed if he consulted with anyone, such as Illinois attorney Michelle Robinson (later his wife) before answering the question.

On December 17, 1991, Respondent was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois.  At no time prior to his admission to the Illinois bar, did Respondent apprise the Illinois Character and Fitness Committee of his involvement in illegal drug activity.  If he had been caught he likely would have been charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree which is a class D felony.   New York Penal Law Sec. 220.06 (McKinney).

The following individuals have personal knowledge of, or access to documentation of these facts:

William Shaheen, Esquire
Shaheen & Gordon, P.A.
P.O. Box 977
140 Washington Street, 2nd Floor
Dover, NH 03821-0977
(603) 749-1838 fax
(603) 749-5000 phone
wshaheen@shaheengordon.com

In about early 1991, Respondent submitted his application to take the Illinois bar exam, in which he attested that his answers to the questions were true and correct. In the Character and Fitness section, question 49 included the following statement:

NOTE:  In connection with your answers to questions 47, 48, and 49, you are advised that no advice of counsel, statute, court order, or legal proceeding withholding adjudication, expunging information from any record, sealing any record, or purporting to authorize any person to deny the existence or occurrence of any information or matter shall excuse less than full disclosure of any information or matter otherwise required to be disclosed herein.  You must answer questions 47, 48, and 49; the submission of letters from law enforcement agencies in lieu of an answer is not acceptable.  If you are required to report an incident in response to more than one of the three questions, you are required to complete only one explanatory form regarding that incident.

49. Have you ever been charged with a traffic violation involving felonious conduct or the use or possession of alcohol or drugs or which resulted in time spent in custody, a fine of $200 or more, or the revocation or suspension of your driver's license?

51. Do you have any outstanding parking violations?

In response to question 49 & 51, the Respondent answered "no."

On December 17, 1991, Respondent was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois.  At no time prior to his admission to the Illinois bar, did Respondent appraise the Illinois Character and Fitness Committee of his multiple civil citations or his concealment of them on his bar application.

The Respondent knew that he had incurred multiple violations.  These fines exceeded the $200.00 reporting threshold for a total of $400.00.  Between October 5, 1988 and January 12 1990, violations included failing to put money in meters, parking in a resident-only area, blocking a bus stop, and multiple tickets in the same day for exceeding the time limit at a meter.  At this time he was living at 365 Broadway, Somerville, Massachusetts, 02144.  The substance and frequency of his disregard for legally valid rules demonstrate contempt for the rules.  He obviously felt he was above the rules that "the common folk" were expected to follow.  All the time that he was supposed to be attending to learning the law, he contemptuously thumbed his nose even at simple parking rules.  Do as I say, not as I do!  The fines and penalties went unpaid for almost two decades.  He asks others to obey the law yet he is too good and it is beneath him to pay lowly parking fines.  It's all about expediency, parking rules don't apply to the "important people" and it's too inconvenient and time consuming to bother with finding a legal parking space. He is so smart and virtuous that merely electing him will end the illegal war I n Iraq but finding a legal parking space near the elitist law school it too taxing for him.

The following individuals have personal knowledge of, or access to documentation of these facts:

Mrs. Susan Clippinger, Director Mr. Tom Champion, Spokesman
Cambridge Traffic, Parking & City of Somerville
Transportation Department Somerville, MA 02144
Cambridge, MA 02139 traffic@ci.somerville.ma.us
(617)349-4747 fax


Evidence Offered in Mitigation

None. The Respondent does not have a good reputation for truthfulness and veracity but continues even to this day to shade the truth and mislead.  The Respondent has never expressed remorse for his intentional misleading and dishonesty.

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

In attorney disciplinary proceedings, the Administrator must establish charges of lawyer misconduct by clear and convincing evidence.  In re Ingersoll, 186 Ill. 2d 163, 168, 710 N.E.2d 390 (1999). 

It is the responsibility of the Hearing Panel to determine the credibility and believability of the witnesses, weigh the conflicting testimony, draw reasonable inferences, and make factual findings based upon all the evidence.  In re Timpone, 157 Ill. 2d 178, 196, 623 N.E.2d 300, 308 (1993).  In this case, there is no dispute as to facts as the Respondent readily admits them.  With the above principles in mind and after careful consideration of the evidence and exhibits, I ask the Hearing Panel to make the following findings.

The Respondent should be charged with:

1.  Making a statement of material fact in connection with a bar application that the applicant knows to be false in violation of Rule 8.1 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct ("Rules");

2.  Committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's fitness to practice law in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(3) of the Rules;

3.  Engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or isrepresentation in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4) of the Rules;

4.  Engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5) of the Rules; and

5.  Engaging in conduct which brings the courts or the legal profession into disrepute in violation of Supreme Court Rule 771.
  

It is undisputed that the Respondent consumed illegal drugs and failed to disclose that when completing his bar application. The Respondent subsequently disclosed these actions in his own published writings.  Furthermore, he committed multiple criminal traffic violations which he deceptively and intentionally failed to report them as required to on his bar application. Of the 17 violations, cumulatively they exceeded $350.00. By his own admission by his use of drugs he was therefore in possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree which is a class D felony. As a result, we find clear and convincing evidence that the Respondent violated Rules 8.4(a)(3) and 8.4(a)(4).  It follows that such misconduct was prejudicial to the administration of justice and brought the legal profession into disrepute.

In analyzing whether the attorney engaged in misconduct, we request that the Hearing Board adopt the Administrator's previous suggestions to employ a two-step process. First, the Hearing Board ascertained whether in that particular case, appellate opinions were of a nature to be properly identified in response to the question on the application. If they were, the Hearing Board then examined the attorney's state of mind to determine whether his failure to disclose the information was purposeful.

second step of the analysis, but noted the attorney's candor and credibility.
The Hearing Board concluded that the appellate decisions were directed at the trial court's actions, not the attorney's actions or professional conduct and therefore found that the attorney responded appropriately. In so finding, the Hearing Board did not reach the 

"Have you ever been charged with a traffic violation involving felonious conduct or the use or possession of alcohol or drugs or which resulted in time spent in custody, a fine of $200 or more, or the revocation or suspension of your driver's license?"  It is known that prior to the time the Respondent submitted his bar application the record irrefutable proves that he his multiple citations represented fines in excess of $200.00.  As a result, we find the
Respondent's payment of the fines without objection in this case is sufficient nature to be properly identified in response to question 49 on the bar application.  Knowledge of his repeated violations when understood in conjunction with the plain language of question 49, we find the Respondent answered deceptively and that he therefore engaged in intentional misconduct.


RECOMMENDATION

The purpose of the disciplinary system is to protect the public, maintain the integrity of the legal system and safeguard the administration of justice.  In re Howard, 188 Ill. 2d 423, 434, 721 N.E.2d 1126 (1999). In determining the proper sanction, I ask that the Hearing Board give deliberative consideration to the proven misconduct.  In re Witt, 145 Ill. 2d 380, 398, 583 N.E.2d 526 (1991).

In this matter the evidence demonstrates that the Respondent consumed illegal drugs that should have resulted in felony charges and a felony criminal conviction.  The Respondent can be sanctioned under the Rules of Professional Conduct for a criminal conviction even though he committed such acts before he was admitted to the bar. See In re Chandler, 161 Ill. 2d 459, 641 N.E.2d 473 (1994).

The Respondent has not cooperated fully with questions into his illegal drug use and possible sale or distribution of drugs.  While he has no publicly known prior bar discipline we find multiple aggravating factors.  He has consistently denied his misconduct as it relates to his bar application, failed to take genuine responsibility for his actions, and demonstrated no remorse.

Based upon the well settled case law discussed above and the considerable evidence in mitigation I believe disbarment is the appropriate sanction.

CONCLUSION

Considering the nature of the Respondent's misconduct, the lack of significant evidence in mitigation and the numerous instances of aggravating factors, the movant recommends that the Respondent be disbarred.

According to the State of Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Illinois Supreme Court concerning the mysterious removal of Michelle Obama’s Law License database information throughout the entire year of 2008 and its return to the database in 2009. They informed that Michelle Obama’s license had been “voluntarily surrendered, so was  “inactive” which prevented public access to her record during the year her husband was campaigning.  Further investigation found that Michelle Obama had surrendered her license in 1994, in an agreement to avoid being sued and disbarred.  Had Michelle Obama not voluntarily surrendered her law license she most assuredly would have been disbarred.  President Obama also “voluntarily surrendered his license in 2009, apparently to also prevent access to his license database information.

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