Attorney sued for malpractice, allegedly failed to inform a client of court decisions

By Joel Brakken | Dec 11, 2013

09A man is suing his attorney over claims he failed to properly represent him in a discrimination case.

Daniel McCauley filed a lawsuit Oct. 30 in the Cook County Circuit Court against Robert A. Habib, citing legal malpractice.

According to the complaint, McCaulery owns A Taste of Heaven, 5401 N. Clark St. in Chicago, and retained Habib to represent him in a lawsuit filed by a former employee.

McCauley claims that on April 14, 2006, Maria Flores filed a complaint with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations alleging that McCauley harassed and fired Flores because of her age, nationality and sex.

During settlement negotiations of the case, the suit states that Habib on Dec. 3, 2008 filed an emergency motion to reschedule the settlement conference, claiming the plaintiff could not attend due to an unexpected work emergency.

The complaint claims the motion was filed too late in the day and the commission's staff did not receive the motion until the morning of the settlement conference.

Habib, according to the suit, was fined $250 for his behavior and commission decided not to set a new settlement conference, therefore depriving McCauley of the opportunity to settle the dispute.

McCauley asserts that a pre-hearing conference was set for May 7, 2009, and neither he nor Habib attended the hearing because Habib failed to inform McCauley of it.

As a result, McCauley claims the hearing officer defaulted him and Taste of Heaven, and that Habib also failed to inform him he had been defaulted.

The complaint states that on Jan. 19, 2011, the commission ordered McCauley to pay Flores $69,773.27 in attorney fees and costs and that Habib failed to give the plaintiff a copy of the order, instead calling and telling McCauley he had lost but that he planned to appeal.

Following an appeal petition, the commission fined McCauley and imposed further fines of $100 per day for each day the fines remained unpaid. Habib, the suit alleges, did not tell McCauley of the order and the appeal was later denied.

McCauley is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 and all sums of money owed to Flores due to the alleged malpractice. He is being represented in the case by attorneys Adam Goodman and Wesley Johnson of Goodman Tovrov Hardy & Johnson LLC.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 2013L012002.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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