Cook County Record

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

ARDC accuses attorney of lying to clients about suspension from previous disciplinary case

By Kenneth Lowe | Mar 24, 2014

Editor's note: This story was updated on May 27 to reflect information provided by the attorney that indicates his Colorado felony charge was dismissed and he was not convicted. In May 2014, he was disbarred on consent. 

A Skokie attorney faces the possibility of further disciplinary action over allegations he did not inform his clients he had been suspended from practicing law in Illinois.

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) lodged the complaint against Kenneth Alan Goldman last month.

Goldman received a three-year suspension in November of 2012, stemming from a 2009 Colorado charge for chatting online with a 12-year-old girl who turned out to be a police detective.

Although the February ARDC complaint states Goldman's suspension arose after his conviction, he provided The Record a document on May 27 indicating he was not convicted and the charge was dismissed in April 2013.

The document Goldman provided was an order from a Colorado court granting his "unopposed motion to vacate deferred judgment and to dismiss felony charge."

As part of the Illinois Supreme Court's previous disciplinary order, Goldman was required to inform his clients of his suspension and inability to represent them.

But, the ARDC asserts in its February complaint that Goldman evaded that responsibility.

The commission found, after investigating whether he had truly sent the notifications by certified mail as he was required, that Goldman instead told his clients he was in the midst of shutting down his practice, among other excuses.

In one instance, he told a client in an email he would not be able to attend a hearing because he son was having surgery and that a colleague would appear for him, according to the complaint.

Goldman also sent copies of letters containing the required language to the court, claiming he had sent them to his clients when he had not done so, the ARDC alleges.

The complaint states Goldman admitted in a March 2013 written response to the ARDC the letters he sent to two of his clients were different than the ones he filed with the court.

He said "he was too embarrassed' to send the real letters" since one of his clients was a family friend and that he had a "family to protect and children to raise in a tight nit [sic] community."

The ARDC filed its first complaint against Goldman in 2010, following his Colorado charge.

In its December 2011 report and recommendation, a panel of the commission's Hearing Board stated that Goldman had been caught chatting online with someone he thought was a 12-year-old girl, but was actually a Colorado detective posing as a young girl.

The Hearing Board noted that Goldman hadn't actually harmed anybody besides himself and his own family since there were no actual girl involved in the crime, and that professional psychological assessments determined he wasn't attracted to children and was at a low risk of reoffending.

In its 2011 report, the board further found that Goldman had not, at the time, engaged in fraud or deceptive practices.

"However distasteful it may have been, there was nothing dishonest or fraudulent about [Goldman's] misconduct," the report stated. "After [Goldman] was arrested, he was forthright and cooperative with the law enforcement authorities, his evaluators and his treatment providers. He never denied what he did or lied about it."

In its February complaint, the ARDC accuses Goldman of knowingly making false statements of fact to a tribunal, offering evidence and an affidavit he knew to be false, and engaging in dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.

Goldman was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 2000. Prior to his 2012 suspension, he had never been disciplined. The Supreme Court has the final say in disciplining attorneys in most cases.

Records from the ARDC and the Supreme Court show that Goldman was disbarred on consent in May 2014, after submitting a motion asking that his name be removed from the state's roster of attorneys.

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