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Illinois Finds Fault with Mortgage Assistance Attorneys Aleman and Macey

By on September 22, 2014

A tipster (send in your tips here) just sent in a document which was filed on August 28, 2014 regarding the activities of Jeffrey Aleman and Thomas Macey or Legal Helpers fame. The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission came to the opinion that Macey and Aleman had violated a number of Illinois attorney rules.

However it does not appear it was their debt settlement activities which were the source of these decision from the disciplinary board. In this case it appears to be the result of some service provided to assist people with mortgage related issues.

What is most interesting is it looks like the Commission took great exception with the practice of law in other states by Aleman and Macey.

There are a number of section to the Commission report but the finds are below.

Count I

By reason of the conduct described above, Respondents have engaged in the following misconduct:

a. practicing law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, by holding themselves out as authorized to practice law in New Mexico, by agreeing to represent Lovato in a New Mexico legal matter, and by providing legal advice to Lovato regarding a New Mexico legal matter, in violation of Rule 5.5(a) 1 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

b. making a false or misleading communication about a lawyer or the lawyer’s services, by falsely describing Denise Snyder as a partner in Respondents’ law firm, in violation of Rule 7.1 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

c. stating or implying that Respondents practiced in a partnership with Denise Snyder when that was not the fact, in violation of Rul e 7.5 (d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010); and

d. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, by falsely stating to Lovato that Respondents had a law firm partner who was authorized to practice law in New Mexico, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).

Count II

By reason of the conduct outlined above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

a. failing to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client, by failing to take action to address the foreclosure filing Lovato had reported to them, in violation of Rule 1.3 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

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b. failing to keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter, by failing to inform Lovato that Respondents had taken no action on her behalf in the foreclosure litigation, in violation of Rule 1.4(a)(3) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

c. failing to comply with reasonable requests for information from a client, by failing to respond to Lovato’s telephone requests, in violation of Rule 1.4(a)(4) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

d. failing to promptly refund any part of a fee paid in advance that has not been earned, in violation of Rule 1.16(d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010); and

e. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, by failing to inform Lovato that Respondents had taken no action on her behalf in case number D-101-cv-201201511, and by retaining, without authority, the unearned portion of the legal fees Lovato had paid to Respondents, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).

Count III

By reason of the conduct described above, Respondents have engaged in the following misconduct:

a. practicing law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, by holding themselves out as authorized to practice law in Georgia, by agreeing to represent Pierce in a Georgia legal matter, and by providing legal advice to Pierce regarding a Georgia legal matter, in violation of Rule 5.5(a) 1 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

b. making a false or misleading communication about a lawyer or the lawyer’s services, by falsely describing Matthew Purcell as a partner in Respondents’ law firm, in violation of Rule 7.1 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

c. stating or implying that Respondents practiced in a partnership with Matthew Purcell when that was not the fact, in violation of Rule 7.5(d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010); and

d. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, by falsely stating to Pierce that Respondents had a partner who was authorized to practice law in Georgia, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).

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Count IV

By reason of the conduct described above, Respondents have engaged in the following misconduct:

a. practicing law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, by holding themselves out as authorized to practice law in North Carolina, by agreeing to represent the Hills in a North Carolina legal matter, and by providing legal advice to the Hills regarding a North Carolina legal matter, in violation of Rule 5.5(a) 1 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

b. making a false or misleading communication about a lawyer or the lawyer’s services, by falsely describing Harry Marsh as a partner in Respondents’ law firm, in violation of Rule 7.1 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010);

c. stating or implying that Respondents practiced in a partnership with Harry Marsh when that was not the fact, in violation of Rul e 7.5(d) of the I l l inois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010); and

d. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, by falsely stating to the Hills that Respondents had a law firm partner who was authorized to practice law in North Carolina, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the I l l inois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).

Count V

By reason of the conduct outlined above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

a. failing to promptly refund any part of a fee paid in advance that has not been earned, in violation of Rule 1.16(d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010); and

b. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, by retaining, without authority, the unearned portion of the legal fees Respondents had received from the Hills, in violation of Rule 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010). – Source

According to the document, the matter has been moved forward to determine what discipline is warranted.


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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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