On Wednesday, February 15, 2023, the Hearing Board of Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission recommended the suspension of attorney McStephen Olusegun Adewale Solomon for misconduct, alleging dishonestly converting a portion of a rental income from the client over a mortgage foreclosure matter.

The case is entitled “In re McStephen Olusegun Adewale Solomon,” with case no. 21PR00012.

The charges cited Rules 1.3, 1.4(a)(3), 1.15(a), and 8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct which state:

A lawyer shall 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

Obligates attorneys holding client or third-party funds to safeguard those funds

It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation

Allegedly, the respondent failed to diligently represent his client and to keep the same reasonably informed about the status of the foreclosure matter. Respondent also misappropriated the client’s fund and engaged in dishonest conduct.

The filing states:

“The plaintiff sold the property at auction on March 6, 2018. In May 2018, the plaintiff filed a motion seeking, among other things, an order for a personal deficiency judgment against Raices. In a court proceeding on June 6, 2018, which Respondent did not attend, the Court granted the plaintiff’s motion and entered a deficiency judgment against Raices in the amount of $314,236.69. Respondent did not tell her about any of the plaintiff’s motions, discuss with her a strategy for responding to the motions, tell her about the sale, or tell her that the foreclosure case had concluded.”

The filing further states:

“Respondent misappropriated $12,400 of rental income that belonged to Raices, by making cash withdrawals from his IOLTA account and using those funds for his own personal or business purposes, without Raices’ authorization. His taking of the funds was dishonest because he knew the funds in the account did not belong to him”

“We are struck by the fact that Respondent was barely out of law school and had been licensed for less than a year when he undertook the representation of Raices in what turned out to be a fairly complicated foreclosure matter and time-consuming rent collection matter.”

With all the facts, allegations, and documentary evidence, the Hearing Board recommends that Respondent be suspended for one year and until further order, stayed after six months by a one-period of probation, with conditions designed to improve Respondent’s law office management and client communication skills as well as a requirement that Respondent make full restitution to Petitioner before he resumes the practice of law.

The recommendation concludes:

In conclusion, we believe that a suspension of one year and until further order stayed after six months by a one-year period of conditional probation, is commensurate with Respondent’s misconduct, consistent with discipline that has been imposed for comparable misconduct, and sufficient to serve the goals of attorney discipline and deter others from committing similar misconduct. Accordingly, Respondent, McStephen Olusegun Adewale Solomon, is suspended from the practice of law for one year and until further order of the Court, stayed after six months by a one-year period of probation.

As of today, Solomon is a practicing attorney at his own law firm in Hazel Crest, IL. He is licensed in Illinois. His info can be found here.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.