Legal Ethics

Pro Bono Lawyer Criminally Charged re Alleged Cellphone Loan to Client in Custody

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An Illinois lawyer has been criminally charged for allegedly allowing a client being questioned at a Chicago police station in a high-profile murder case to use her personal cellphone to make several calls.

Charged with a Class 1 felony count of bringing contraband into a penal institution, Sladjana Vuckovic, 43, was released today on her own recognizance, reports the Chicago Tribune. If convicted, she could be sentenced to as much as 15 years.

Her lawyer, Leonard Goodman, says Vuckovic works for the Chicago Transit Authority on the civil side of the law and was representing Timothy Herring as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid.

“There was no malice at all. She wasn’t trying to obstruct anything,” Goodman tells the Trib. “I think the charge has no merit.”

The article says Vuckovic has no arrest record and no disciplinary history as an attorney.

On parole for armed robbery, Herring, then 19, was charged in November with first-degree murder concerning the slayings of a Chicago police evidence technician and a former Chicago Housing Authority officer in an alley between the 8100 block of South Manistee Ave. and the 8100 block of South Burnham Ave. earlier that month.

A Chicago Tribune article published shortly after his arrest gives further details.

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