On Tuesday, November 21, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court issued an order suspending former Cook County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Lawrence Peters from practicing law for 90 days.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Daniel Lawrence Peters,” with case no. M.R.031909
The charges cited Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(b)(d), 8.1(a), and 8.4(c) which states:
Committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, by engaging in the crime of soliciting for prostitution.
Engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.
Knowingly making a false statement of material fact in connection with a disciplinary matter by making the false statements.
Conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation by making a false statement, concerning the circumstances preceding his arrest.
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
The suspension comes after Peters pled no contest on May 17, 2022, to soliciting a prostitute in Polk County, Florida. According to the Petition to Impose Discipline filed by the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC), Peters exchanged text messages with someone advertising erotic messages in March 2022. The texts negotiated a price of $100 for one hour of sex.
Peters then showed up at the agreed-upon location and paid $100 in cash, acknowledging he was there for sex. However, he was immediately arrested. In his no-contest plea, Peters received 12 months probation, was ordered to complete community service and testing, and forfeited his cell phone. During the ARDC’s investigation into the matter, Peters initially told the commission he believed he had made an appointment for a massage. However, the petition states this was false, as the text messages clearly showed Peters knew he was arranging to pay for sex. By knowingly making this false statement, the petition argued Peters violated Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.
In addition to the criminal charges and false statements, the petition noted Peters’s prior service as a Cook County judge from 2011 to 2014 as an aggravating factor. However, in mitigation, Peters had no prior discipline and expressed remorse. He consented to the 90-day suspension proposed in the petition.
The Illinois Supreme Court approved the petition in its November 21 order, suspending Peters for 90 days effective December 12, 2023. The order also requires Peters to reimburse the Client Protection Program Trust Fund for any payments arising from his conduct prior to the end of his suspension.
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 Daniel Lawrence Peters is suspended from the practice of law for ninety (90) days.”
Mr Peters served as a judge on the Cook County 4th Subcircuit in Illinois. He was appointed to a term that began on August 1, 2011, and expired on December 3, 2012. He unsuccessfully ran for election to the Cook County 4th Subcircuit in 2014. He acquired his law license in Illinois in 1991.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.