On Friday, June 23, 2023, the Administrator of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission filed a complaint alleging Skokie attorney Robert Edwin Lewin of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior towards female court employees.

The case is titled “In the Matter of Robert Edward Lewin,” case no. 2023PR00042.

The charges cited Rule 8.4(d) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibits:

A lawyer from engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

The complaint details numerous instances dating as far back as 2016 of Lewin engaging in sexual harassment, unwanted physical contact, and making inappropriate comments to women employees at the Will County Courthouse, which led to an investigation by the courthouse authorities whereby several employees confirmed Lewin’s inappropriate behavior.

The Complaint states:

“On one occasion, in March 2021, while H.M was walking through the Courthouse security entrance at the beginning of the day, she began talking briefly to Sheriff’s Deputy James O’Halloran. At that time, Respondent came up behind H.M. and patted her head and place his hand in her hair. When Deputy O’Halloran observed Respondent touch H.M., he immediately toldRespondent, “Don’t ever let me see you do anything like that again!”Respondent then walked away.”

Following the investigation, Lewin confronted the allegations during a meeting with the court administrators and acknowledged some of the inappropriate behavior but claimed not to remember specific incidents.

Lewin received a warning letter outlining expectations, including refraining from physical contact, avoiding discussions about his personal life, and making inappropriate comments to staff, especially female employees.

However, despite the warning, Lewin’s harassing behavior persisted, leading to further incidents.

The Complaint continues:

“On or about August 25, 2021, while in the Clerk’s office of the Will County Courthouse, Respondent approached an employee, R.B., to ask for assistance in filing the appropriate documents to schedule a court appearance. When R.B. told Respondent that he needed to fill out additional forms in order to have a court date scheduled, Respondent became agitated and asked R.B. if he “has ever heard the phrase ‘eat shit and die.’” In response, R.B. again explained to Respondent that he would have to fill out additional forms and file them electronically. Respondent then stated to R.B., “Eat shit and die,” and walked away.”

The Complaint further alleges:

“Later that afternoon, on June 22, 2022, Respondent returned to the office while C.S. was not there. Respondent spoke to the four other judicial externs who were present and asked about “the Loyola Law Student,” indicating C.S., and if they would pass her his business card. Respondent then made a comment to the four judicial externs to the effect of: “If I were 55 years younger, I would get with her.”One of the externs who was present at the time Respondent made this remark reported the matter to the Office of the Chief Judge.”

According to the filing, in response to the continuous reports of harassment, the Chief Judge of the Will County Courthouse took decisive action in July 2022. Lewin’s presence within the courthouse was restricted to courtrooms where he represented clients, and the Circuit Clerk’s Office, where he could handle paperwork on behalf of his clients. Lewin was denied access to areas such as the law library and cafeteria and other areas of the courthouse.

As of the date of the Complaint, Lewin’s restrictions remain in effect.

In light of the foregoing facts, the Administrator determined that through Lewin’s conduct, the latter violated the rule of professional conduct as charged, and requested before the Hearing Board that the matter be referred to a panel of the same and a hearing be conducted to make findings of fact, conclusions of Fact and law, and a recommendation of such discipline as is warranted.

Mr. Robert Edward Lewin maintains his sole practice in Skokie, focusing on criminal defense matters. He has been admitted to practice in Illinois since 1974, license no. 1646710.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.