Indicted alderman among lawyers and judges who partnered in investment club

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Ed Burke

Edward Burke in 2009. Photo from Kate Gardiner via Wikimedia Commons.

Two judges in Cook County, Illinois, partnered with lawyers in an investment club, including a Chicago alderman indicted on corruption charges.

The two current judges in the club were Judge Michael Toomin, the presiding judge of the juvenile division, and Judge James Shapiro, who hears family law cases in the domestic relations division, the Chicago Sun-Times and Injustice Watch report in a jointly published article.

The Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct doesn’t specifically prevent judges from joining investment clubs, but it does warn of financial and business dealings that “involve the judge in frequent transactions with lawyers or persons likely to come before the court on which the judge serves.”

The indicted alderman in the club is Edward Burke, who has been charged with racketeering and extortion for allegedly pressuring companies to hire his law firm for legal work, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Three attorneys in the club practice family law, including an attorney who formerly was an Illinois appeals judge. Three other retired judges are also in the club.

The name of the investment club is Table of Wisdom. One lawyer in the club told the Chicago Sun-Times and Injustice Watch that the club disbanded earlier this year because of disagreements on investments.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Alderman is accused of using his position to solicit law firm business; his wife is a state justice”

ABAJournal.com: “Former federal prosecutor makes history as Chicago’s first black female and openly gay mayor”

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