Thursday, January 10, 2008

Marine Keying Incident - Disbarment at Least

By Jim Simpson

Every year around this time our family goes on vacation and as this is a time for rest, relaxation and exclusively family time, I studiously avoid any exposure to the news – I like to enjoy my vacations. So it wasn’t until January 6th that I learned of the outrageous December keying incident, which has now gotten a fair amount of coverage on the web. Typically, our beloved MSM has been, with the exception of one very good article in the Chicago Tribune, disgustingly silent. Most of my material has been gleaned from Black Five, who was on this story from day one, and other sources who did amazing work digging up other information (see below). They deserve a boatload of credit for bringing this to our attention and keeping it in the public eye.

For those of you who haven’t heard about it, a brief recap is in order. On December 1, Marine Sgt. Mike McNulty, was about to return to Iraq for a second tour of duty. At about 11 am he went to pick up a friend to go out for breakfast. As they were coming out of the friend’s apartment building, they noticed a man doing something to McNulty’s car – a beautiful, new BMW. He was digging a scratch along its side with his key. See a photo of the damage here.

McNulty asked the man what he was doing and the man yelled back a number of expletives about Marines. McNulty kept his cool – you have to commend him for that – and called the police who arrested the man. He was later identified as Jay R. Grodner, a Chicago attorney. Here’s the arrest record. In typical sleazy lawyer fashion, Grodner stalled with continuances, knowing McNulty was to deploy shortly, wherein the case would likely be dropped. At one point, a judge even put out a warrant for Grodner’s arrest after he failed to show up in court, but the warrant was never served, as he showed up late, sheepishly claiming he took a wrong turn.


According to early reports, the damage to McNulty’s car was assessed at $2,400. Initially, Grodner offered to pay the deductible on McNulty’s insurance, $100, and wanted McNulty to use his own insurance company to pay for the rest of the damages! Now I ask you, how can someone possibly be such a scumbag?

Well I don’t know, but it seems any state licensing authority would find Mr. Grodner’s actions worthy of at least serious sanctions if not outright disbarment. So I checked into this. Following is what I found.

The State of Illinois does not license attorneys through the state bar. In Illinois, the State Supreme Court provides licenses through its Attorney Registration and Discipline Commission (ARDC). Petitions for disciplinary action are filed here.

The Illinois courts’ Rules of Professional Conduct require (in Sections 8.4. a3 and a4), that a lawyer not:

commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;

engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;

Mr. Grodner certainly appears to have engaged in a criminal act this time, but he has also been cited, apparently numerous times in the past, for unscrupulous behavior. According to state Supreme Court records he has been censured, a decision which unfortunately does not prevent the lawyer from remaining in practice. To read more about the specifics of this case, go here for a great post from The Bench.

Additionally, Citizens for Legal Responsibility, an Illinois legal watchdog group, includes Jay Grodner on their unethical attorneys list, and describe other violations as follows:

In addition to being disciplined for being involved in a scheme to forging [sic] documents, it has been reported to CLR that attorney Jay Robert Grodner has since then engaged in a conflict of interest with his clients, has abandoned his clients, has engaged in false billing, has engaged in a fraud upon his clients, provided ineffective assistance of counsel, and has engaged in a "fraud upon the court".

The Supreme Court is familiar with the latest accusations against Grodner and confirmed to me that he has had other complaints filed against him in the past, in addition to the censure. Big surprise.

According to ARDC, an attorney faces immediate disbarment if convicted of a felony. He may also face disbarment or other sanctions for misdemeanor convictions.

So the big question is what happens next. Currently, the case scheduled to be heard next Friday, January 18th, at the Circuit Court of Cook County, Branch 29, 2452 W. Belmont St., Chicago, IL. At present, Grodner has only been charged with a misdemeanor, although John Gorman, spokesman for the State’s Attorney’s Office, informed me that prosecutors are reviewing the case and he may yet be charged with a felony. The case is being handled by Assistant State’s Attorney, Andrea Kersten.

This guy really blew it. In addition to getting himself charged with a criminal act, he has become subject to our outrage. One wonders if he doesn’t have a death wish. The blogosphere has become our only recourse as the left increasingly shuts out information which either puts them in any kind of bad light, or tells the true, noble story of our military’s front line forces, and we use it with a vengeance.

Here’s his contact information if you wish to send him a “special note.” His website appears to be down however, and his phones have apparently been disconnected :-)

Law Offices of Jay R. Grodner
Principal Office
625 Deerfield Rd, Suite 406
Deerfield, IL 60015
Phone: (847) 444-1500 Fax: (847) 444-0663

Downtown Chicago
30 N. LaSalle St, Suite 1210
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: (312) 236-1142
Fax: (312) 236-6036

It gets better. somehow managed to track down his online dating profile. Here it is. Look at it if you like. I am sorry, but this is truly sad. Here’s his defining quote:

I love sex. I’m wild about so many ways that sex makes life worth living. I joined this site because the women I’m seeing are both beautiful and adventurous. I have plenty of work a [sic] free time to talk. Sometimes one needs to act.

Another site found an even more compromising bust shot of someone they claim to be the same guy – naked. You don’t want to look, but some of the comments are priceless.

This guy is so screwed; I am almost beginning to feel sorry for him. I said almost. He is not merely getting drilled a new poop shoot. By the time we get done with him, his ass is going to look like a used target from the Knob Creek Biannual Machine Gun Shoot.

Semper Fi!