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Legal Ethics

Lawyer accused of lying about claimed ‘self-employment’ as prostitute and name used in online ads

Posted Jun 3, 2013 11:40 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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An Illinois attorney is facing a legal ethics case over her alleged lies to the state Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission about her work as a prostitute.

Reema Bajaj, who earned her law degree from Northern Illinois University and became licensed as an attorney in 2010, pleaded guilty last June to a misdemeanor prostitution charge. However, the ARDC is now contending that she violated attorney ethics rules by failing to disclose her work as a prostitute in her bar application and by lying to the ARDC, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The ethics complaint says Bajaj gave a sworn statement to the ARDC in September, contending that, although she had pleaded guilty in a DeKalb County criminal case that claimed she had been paid $100 for one encounter, she had actually never received money for sex. Bajaj said of the man at issue in the criminal case, who was not himself charged, "I do not believe he paid me for sex," according to the complaint and the Tribune article.

A Legal Profession Blog post provides more information and links to the complaint (PDF).

It alleges that Bajaj worked as a prostitute from 2005 to 2011 and violated attorney ethics rules not only by repeated acts of criminal conduct but by multiple lies on her bar application and in her sworn statement to the ARDC.

Among other issues, the ARDC contends that Bajaj failed to provide a truthful answer to the bar application question "Have you ever been known by any other first, middle or last name?" because she did not disclose that she allegedly used the name "Nikita" to advertise her services online.

The Trib article doesn't include any comment from Bajaj and says the newspaper attempted without success to reach her and her lawyer on Friday.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: "Lawyer Is Charged with Prostitution, Allegedly Tells Police She Gave It Up After Passing Bar"

ABAJournal.com: "Attorney Pleads to Prostitution Misdemeanor, Gets Court Supervision"

ABAJournal.com: "DA’s ‘Flush the Johns’ sting puts lawyers, doctors and others on photo display"

Daily Chronicle: "Lawsuit: Distribution of nude photos hurt Maple Park business"

Updated at 2:05 p.m. to include link to related Daily Chronicle article and at 5:11 p.m. to link to subsequent ABAJournal.com post.

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