Former BigLaw partner temporarily barred from courthouse should be suspended, board says

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The hearing board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission has recommended that a former federal prosecutor and Polsinelli shareholder be suspended for three years and until further notice. Image from Shutterstock.

An Illinois hearing board has recommended suspension for a former federal prosecutor and Polsinelli shareholder who was temporarily barred from the criminal courthouse in Chicago and held in criminal contempt of court four times.

The hearing board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission recommended Sept. 8 that George Jackson III be suspended for three years and until further notice for his conduct while representing his brother in a murder trial.

Jackson’s LinkedIn profile describes him as a former shareholder at Polsinelli, a former assistant U.S. attorney and a former president of the Chicago chapter of the Federal Bar Association, claims confirmed by news stories (here, here and here). The profile says Jackson is now attorney and managing partner of the Dred Scott law firm.

The Chicago Tribune described the murder trial as “a sad, strange chapter in one of the sadder and stranger cases in recent years” in Cook County, Illinois.

Jackson helped his brother obtain a new trial after his first murder conviction and defended him in the retrial. The brother claimed to have acted in self-defense when he beat a stranger to death on an elevated train platform. But Jackson told the judge that he had advised his brother not to testify, although the testimony could help show the defendant’s state of mind. The brother was again convicted.

The Chicago Tribune noted past contempt findings, the courthouse ban, “sexually explicit and racially insensitive court filings” and “a slew of paperwork alleging prosecutors and judges were in on a conspiracy to frame his brother.”

The hearing board report said Jackson “made numerous statements disparaging the integrity and qualifications of judges, which were unfounded and made with reckless disregard as to their truth or falsity. He also made derogatory remarks about opposing counsel and gratuitous statements graphically depicting a sexual assault of fictional persons.”

At some point, the Cook County, Illinois, State’s Attorney’s office obtained an order of protection against Jackson that barred him from the criminal courthouse, the hearing board said. The order was later modified to allow Jackson to enter the courthouse if accompanied by sheriff’s deputies.

In court filings, Jackson:

  • Alleged that the first judge in the case was biased against him and criticized the judge for an in-chambers meeting with a prosecutor. The judge had told Jackson that he and the prosecutor were discussing closed cases and DNA evidence.

  • Said the judge “forever foreclosed his ability to be a fair judge” in matters involving Cook County prosecutors. Jackson said the “miscreant behaviors” of the judge and the prosecutor were “in a word, stupid.” And he said the judge “mirrors in clone-like fashion the Jack Nicholson character Colonel Nathan Jessup in A Few Good Men, a narcissist with unchecked hubris freely and knowingly violating rules he considers being nothing more than inconvenient nuisances.”

  • Included a graphic description of the abduction of two “Jewish females,” a “mother and pre-bat mitzvah daughter,” and the rape of the fictional daughter by “Guy Black, aka ‘Meatman,’ a moniker bestowed on Guy because of his physical endowment.”

  • Wrote: “What better way to emasculate a cadre of African American and Hispanic male defendants than to have them prosecuted by white women at the direction of a pseudo Black woman guided by a Jewish man, and under the presiding control of a white judge, who in turn meets in private with the Jewish man in promoting the goals of the pseudo Black woman?” Jackson said his mention of a “pseudo Black woman guided by a Jewish man” was a reference to Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx and his opposing counsel.

  • Alleged that judges are demonstrating “extremely diabolical prejudice” against him, and that one of the judges is “woefully intellectually challenged.”

  • Said “a Jew or white man” would never be banned from the courthouse as he was. The requirement that he be accompanied by deputies, he said, was akin to ordering a Jewish man to “take this train to mandatory summer camp.”

  • In a motion titled “Modern-Day Emmett Till,” said one white female prosecutor was “entirely unattractive,” although she “thankfully she lacks the feminine hygiene slight body odor of her former co-prosecutor.”

  • In a motion for a change of venue, said Cook County judges “have concertedly manifested a street-gang psychosis of protecting its imagined turf and fellow members instead of following the law.”

The hearing board said Jackson’s misconduct was “egregious.” His unfounded attacks on the judiciary undermined public confidence in the administration of justice, the board found. And his statements about opposing counsel “were reprehensible and have no place in the practice of law,” the hearing board said.

In aggravation, the remarks were part of a pattern, he made multiple remarks displaying hostility to Jewish people, and he “displayed little to no recognition of or remorse for the impact his derogatory remarks had on others.” He continues to maintain that his remarks were justified.

Factors in mitigation included a lack of prior discipline, his cooperation in the proceedings, and a character reference from a person who knew him while a federal prosecutor.

“In addition,” the board said, although Jackson “denied that the stress of representing his brother in a murder trial affected his behavior, the fact that the misconduct was related only to that representation suggests otherwise.”

Jackson did not immediately respond to a phone message left at the number on file for him with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

Reuters covered the recommendation, while the Legal Profession Blog had highlights from the report.

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