On Tuesday, November 21, 2023, the Supreme Court of Illinois suspended attorney Jeffrey Bruce Steinback from practicing law for 30 days. Mr. Steinback’s suspension is a result of his involvement in misconduct on court filings.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Jeffrey Bruce Steinback,” with case no. M.R. 031883.
The charges cited Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3, 3.3(a)(1), 5.3(c)(2), 8.4(c) and 8.4(d) which states:
Failing to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.
Knowingly making a false statement and failing to correct a false statement of material fact previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer.
Failing to take reasonable remedial action regarding the conduct by a person over whom Respondent had direct supervisory authority.
Engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
Engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
According to a petition filed by the Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) on August 28, 2023, Mr. Steinback represented a client named Romel Murphy in a federal criminal fraud case in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa beginning on January 23, 2020. Between September and October 2021, Mr. Steinback filed motions requesting continuances of Mr. Murphy’s sentencing hearing that contained false statements.
Specifically, in a September 24, 2021 motion, Mr. Steinback claimed he had experienced debilitating back spasms the night before and had been treated in an emergency room. He stated he was advised not to travel or engage in physical activity for 4–7 days. However, Mr. Steinback later admitted he did not receive treatment or evaluations. He made further false statements to the court on December 14, 2021, regarding purported treatment.
The false statements in the motions and later court testimony caused unnecessary delays to the criminal proceeding. The judge had to hold multiple show cause hearings to address the inconsistencies in Mr. Steinback’s statements. On June 10, 2022, the federal court found Mr. Steinback in contempt of court for his actions.
In its petition to the Illinois Supreme Court, the ARDC argued Mr. Steinback’s conduct violated Illinois rules regarding diligence, candor toward a tribunal, responsibilities regarding assistants, and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. In mitigation, Mr. Steinback had no prior discipline and expressed remorse. He was also facing penalties in federal court.
On November 21, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court approved the petition and suspended Mr. Steinback from practicing law for 30 days. The suspension is set to take effect on December 12, 2023. As part of the order, Mr. Steinback must also reimburse the Client Protection Program Trust Fund for any payments made as a result of his past conduct.
The Disposition states:
“Petition by the Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission to impose discipline on consent pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 762(b). Allowed. Respondent Jeffrey Bruce Steinback is suspended from the practice of law for thirty (30) days.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Steinback is a criminal defense attorney in Roscoe, Illinois. He attended the University of Iowa. He acquired his law license in Iowa in 1977.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.