The Illinois Supreme Court denied Vichian Ford’s petition for reinstatement to practice law in Illinois in an order issued on January 17, 2024.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Vichian R. Ford,” with case no. M.R. 030955.

Ford had his law license suspended in January 2020 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor criminal damage to property. Following the said discipline, Ford filed a petition for reinstatement on September 3, 2021, after serving his six-month suspension. However, in October 2023, the Hearing Board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (IARDC) recommended that Ford’s petition be denied.

In their report, the Hearing Board evaluated Ford’s petition based on several factors as outlined in Illinois Supreme Court Rule 767(f). This included considering the nature of the misconduct that led to discipline, Ford’s conduct since the suspension, and whether he demonstrated rehabilitation. Despite recognizing Ford took responsibility for his actions and expressed remorse, the Hearing Board found he did not comply with treatment recommendations from his original disciplinary case. Specifically, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Stafford Henry recommended Ford receive 6–12 months of consistent mental health treatment due to diagnoses of bipolar disorder and substance use disorders.

However, between his January 2020 suspension and September 2021 reinstatement petition, Ford only attended two remote therapy sessions with a counselor in March and August 2020. He testified further treatment would have been financially burdensome. The Hearing Board was also concerned by a lack of evidence from a qualified mental health professional supporting Ford’s position that he did not require ongoing treatment.

The Board acknowledged Ford’s explanation that caring for family members occupied his time but said more evidence of his reputation and conduct was needed. They noted other reinstated attorneys provided character witnesses and records of employment or community involvement. Ultimately, the Board found Ford did not clearly and convincingly establish his rehabilitation or current legal competence.

In January 2024, the Illinois Supreme Court approved the Hearing Board’s recommendation and denied Ford’s petition for reinstatement.

The Disposition states:

“Motion by the Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission to approve and confirm the report and recommendation of the Hearing Board. Allowed. The petition by Vichian R. Ford for reinstatement to the roll of attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 767. Denied.”

According to avvo.com, Mr. Ford is an attorney in Decatur, Illinois. He acquired his law license in Illinois in 2000.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.