On Friday, October 6, 2023, the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission recommended that attorney Terry L. Gaca be suspended for one year due to multiple violations of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Terry L. Gaca,” with case no. 2023PR00019.
The ARDC filed a five-count complaint against Gaca in April 2023 detailing factual allegations that Gaca made false statements in court filings, pleaded guilty to criminal contempt charges, and engaged in the unauthorized practice of law on multiple occasions.
The allegations stem from two related civil cases beginning in 2019. In August 2019, a neighbor filed a lawsuit against Gaca and his wife alleging various zoning violations related to a property they owned in Naperville, Illinois. In February 2020, Gaca filed a motion to dismiss the complaint that included a false affidavit stating one of the tenants had vacated the property when he had not. In March 2020, Gaca also made a false statement in an interlocutory appeal relating to the tenants.
Based on these false statements, Gaca was charged with and pleaded guilty to two counts of indirect criminal contempt in May 2022. Separately, in January 2021, Gaca changed his law license status to retired but then filed two slander of title lawsuits in May and July 2021 purportedly representing a trust, despite no longer being authorized to practice law. One court sanctioned Gaca for frivolous pleadings and held him in contempt for the unauthorized practice, and he was charged with and pleaded guilty to three more criminal contempt counts in December 2022.
The ARDC complaint alleges Gaca violated numerous Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct through his conduct, including prohibitions on dishonesty, frivolous filings, unauthorized practice, and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. Gaca did not file an answer to the complaint. In July 2023, an order deemed the complaint’s factual allegations admitted since Gaca provided no explanation for his failure to respond.
The ARDC is seeking a suspension of at least one year based on Gaca’s misconduct that spanned over three years and demonstrated a lack of respect for the judicial system.
The recommendation states:
“Given Respondent’s misconduct, the serious aggravating factors present, and relevant case law, we recommend that Respondent be suspended for one year.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Gaca is an attorney in Naperville, Illinois. He acquired his law license in Illinois in 1987.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.