On Thursday, September 21, 2023, the Supreme Court of Illinois issued a ruling in the case of attorney Leila Louisa Hale, who was disciplined in the State of Nevada. The court imposed reciprocal discipline on Hale, censuring her in the State of Illinois.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Leila Louisa Hale,” with case no. 2023PR00051.
The disciplinary action against Hale began in 2021 when she became the subject of disciplinary proceedings in Nevada. The panel found that Hale violated Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct by prematurely taking her $25,000 attorney’s fee from the $100,000 settlement check and failing to promptly disburse the remaining funds to her client after being discharged.
The panel also found that Hale had prior disciplinary offenses and substantial experience in the practice of law at the time of her misconduct. In mitigation, Hale cooperated with the disciplinary proceedings, presented evidence of good character, and expressed remorse. The panel imposed a letter of caution with conditions that Hale be subject to random trust account audits by the State Bar and draft a new fee agreement subject to approval by the State Bar.
The petition for reciprocal discipline states:
“The panel considered in aggravation that Respondent has ‘prior disciplinary offenses,’ and that she had substantial experience in the practice of law at the time of her misconduct. It considered in mitigation Respondent’s cooperation in the disciplinary proceedings, evidence of good character, imposition of other penalties or sanctions, and remorse.”
The Nevada State Bar had appealed the disciplinary board’s decision, leading to a public reprimand by the Supreme Court of Nevada. The court’s decision had been based on Hale’s prior disciplinary offenses, including a reciprocal reprimand by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2020 for failing to supervise a non-lawyer assistant and charging an excessive fee.
In relation to these events, the Illinois Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission petitioned the Supreme Court to impose reciprocal discipline upon Hale by censuring her. The Administrator contended that Hale’s behavior was similar to that of other lawyers in Illinois who had been censured for comparable violations.
In response, the Supreme Court of Illinois allowed the petition and imposed a reciprocal discipline on attorney Hale.
The Disposition states:
“Petition by the Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission to impose reciprocal discipline pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 763. Allowed. Respondent Leila Louisa Hale, who has been disciplined in the State of Nevada, is censured in the State of Illinois.”
According to avvo.com, Ms. Hale is a car accident attorney in Henderson, Nevada. She is the founder of Hale Injury Law. She acquired her law license in Illinois in 2013.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.