On Monday, December 20, 2022, attorney Philip Michael Kiss was charged with misconduct before the Hearing Board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Board for providing financial assistance to a client in connection with pending litigation.

The case is entitled “In the matter of Philip Michael Kiss” and was brought by the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission with case no. 2022PR00086.

The charges cited Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct 1.8(e) and 1.15(a) which state:

Providing financial assistance to a client in connection with pending or contemplated litigation that was not court costs or litigation expense.

Failure to prepare and maintain complete records of a client’s trust account.

The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

Allegedly, the respondent provided his client with financial assistance while he handles the latter’s case in pursuit of insurance claims. The respondent treated his financial assistance to the client as an advance on the proceeds that the Respondent anticipated would be recovered on the client’s claims for a vehicular collision incident. Moreover, the respondent failed to maintain and appropriately safeguard funds belonging to the same client, and to hold the funds separate from his own property.

The filing states:

“In or about 2019 and 2020, at various times, Ali told Respondent that he needed money to pay his rent and other personal expenses. On August 30, 2019, Respondent drew and Chase Bank paid, check number 6041 made payable to Ali in the amount of $500 on Respondent’s operating account from Respondent’s funds, for financial assistance to Ali as an advance on the proceeds that Respondent anticipated would be recovered on Ali’s claims.”

The filing continues:

“On December 5, 2019, Respondent drew and ChaseBank paid, check number6067made payable to Ali in the amount of $500o Respondent’s operating account from Respondent’sfunds, for financial assistance to Ali as an additional advance on the proceeds of the recovery onAli’s claims.”

The filing further states:

“Between January 21, 2021, and April 7, 2021, Respondent made various disbursements from Respondent’s client funds account for the purpose of paying Respondent’s own business and personal expenses unrelated to Ali, causing the balance in the account to fall to $19. As of April 7, 2021, Respondent had used at least $ 929.03 of the funds deposited into Respondent’s client funds account in which Ali had an interest, for Respondent’s own business and personal purposes.”

Considering all the factual allegations, the petitioner believes that the respondent had violated the above-mentioned Rules of Professional Conduct and should be sanctioned accordingly. The Administrator requested that the matter be referred to a panel of the Hearing Board of the Commission and that a hearing be conducted where the body can make the findings of fact, conclusions of fact and law, and a recommendation for such discipline.

Mr. Kiss attended Northern Illinois University, graduating in 1984. He practices in Gurnee, Illinois. He is licensed in Illinois with license #6187296. His info can be found on martindale.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.