On Tuesday, September 5, 2023, the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) filed a complaint against Attorney Brian Thomas Dailey, outlining a series of allegations before the Hearing Board of the Commission.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Brian Thomas Dailey,” with case no. 2023PR00057.
The charges cited Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15(a)(d) 8.1(b), and 8.4(c) which states:
Failure to hold property of clients or third persons that is in a lawyer’s possession in connection with a representation separate from the lawyer’s own property.
Failure to promptly deliver to the client or third person any funds that the client or third person is entitled to receive.
Knowingly failing to respond to lawful demands for information from a disciplinary authority.
Conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
The complaint details a pattern of conduct raising serious ethical concerns. It alleges that Dailey received substantial settlement funds on behalf of various clients but failed to disburse the funds as required. Instead, he is accused of using a staggering $737,963.53 for personal or business purposes. Moreover, the ARDC asserts that Dailey neglected to keep client funds separate from his own, a basic professional obligation. This alleged misconduct extended over several months, leaving numerous clients and third parties in a precarious financial position.
The complaint states:
“As of June 22, 2021, by drawing checks on the IOLTA account or making transfers to other accounts in payment of his own business or personal obligations, Respondent had used for his own purposes at least $737,963.53 of the above clients’ funds, which he should have been holding for their benefit or the benefit of their lienholders or other third parties.”
The complaint further charges Dailey with failing to respond to lawful demands for information during investigations into the alleged misconduct. Despite repeated requests and a subpoena issued by the ARDC, Dailey purportedly failed to provide crucial documentation and to appear for a sworn statement.
The ARDC’s investigation into Dailey’s conduct began following complaints from multiple clients and third parties. Despite repeated attempts to engage with Dailey, the attorney allegedly failed to adequately address the serious allegations.
The complaint continues:
“At no time did Respondent reply to counsel for the Administrator’s July 31, 2023 correspondence, submit any of the requested documents, or submit written responses to any of the outstanding requests for investigation.”
If found guilty, Dailey could face severe disciplinary action, including potential disbarment. Dailey’s legal representation withdrew from the case in July, leaving the attorney to face these allegations alone. The ARDC remains steadfast in its commitment to upholding the integrity of the legal profession and ensuring accountability for attorneys who fall short of their ethical obligations.
A hearing before a panel of the Hearing Board will be convened to consider the evidence and make recommendations regarding appropriate disciplinary action.
Mr. Dailey is listed as CEO and senior litigator at his own law firm – Dailey Law Firm, P.C. According to avvo.com, Mr. Dailey is a car accident attorney in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, graduating in 1987. He acquired his law license in Illinois in 1989.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.