Suspension ordered for lawyer accused of sending 'abusive and aggressive' emails
The Illinois Supreme Court has ordered the suspension of a Chicago lawyer for sending harassing and threatening emails deemed to be “abusive and aggressive” by a disciplinary hearing board.
If Felipe Nery Gomez wishes to practice law again, he will need a new order from the Illinois Supreme Court, according to the court’s Sept. 21 order.
Gomez had been accused of violating ethics rules in his communications with lawyers from two BigLaw firms and a chief assistant corporation counsel in Chicago.
Gomez was the plaintiff in litigation with the two BigLaw firms, Barnes & Thornburg and Fox Rothschild.
According to an ethics hearing board, Gomez called lawyers from those firms “scum,” “idiot” and “despicable and unfit to practice law.” He called one lawyer “Shmuchs” when his last name was “Schmeltz.” He said he would “bring the full weight of justice down on you,” and one lawyer should “get ready for judgment day.”
After Gomez sought records from the city of Chicago, he sent dozens of emails to the chief assistant corporation counsel demanding that she resign and accusing her of police misconduct, the hearing board said.
Gomez’s conduct “was extreme and egregious,” the hearing board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission said in its Jan. 7 report and recommendation. The board said Gomez used “abusive and aggressive language” in communications with lawyers that “has no place in the practice of law and brings the legal profession into disrepute.”
Gomez had denied misconduct, had contended that attorney ethics rules don’t apply to his conduct as a party, and had asserted that his statements were constitutionally protected speech. He also said the hearing board had evidently rejected a request for disbarment by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, so he regarded the hearing board recommendation as a victory.
After the Illinois Supreme Court’s latest suspension order, Gomez told Law.com in an email that he had retired April 7 and had tendered his license to the state. Reporting that he is “suspended,” he told Law.com, would further “misinformation, in my opinion.”
He also told Law.com that he is exploring appellate options.