BigLaw Vets Convicted After Debauchery Facing Suspensions

by lawshucks on August 3, 2010

Suspensions have just been recommended for two short-tenured former associates of two big Chicago firms who were convicted of various crimes arising out of a late night drunken hookup gone wrong [HT: Legal Profession Blog].

It should surprise absolutely no one that the disciplinary authority is the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Committee.

Just last week we added Olufemi Nicol, the DLA Piper who won’t pay off his B-School loans, to the long list of BigLaw veterans who have run afoul of the IARDC.

The rest of the story after the jump.




Stephen Addison and Benjamin Butler, 2004 graduates of Wisconsin Law, spent the days of August 5 and 6, 2005 drinking at Addison’s family summer house in Green Lake, Wisconsin.  They then headed to a couple of local watering holes where they met a woman who agreed to drive them back to the house.

Respondents and Paez drove out of Ripton, heading toward Green Lake. Paez was driving her car, Respondent Addison was in the front seat, passenger side, and Respondent Butler was in the backseat, behind Paez. A few blocks from Respondent Addison’s Green Lake residence, Paez pulled her car into the boat landing and put her car in park.

On August 7, 2005, Respondent[s]*, while intoxicated, engaged in sexual activity with Paez while both were on the hood of a motor vehicle that was parked on a public boat ramp in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Paez later complained to police authorities.

* Basically, the same facts are pled separately for each of the respondents, so you have to read between the lines to understand that they both had sex with the woman, but one got a little bonus (see below).

Original reports of the events were more disturbing, as ATL described:

Nobody but the two Chicago men and the woman from Berlin knows for certain exactly what happened at the private boat landing on Green Lake in early morning of Aug. 7, 2005.

The 29-year-old woman says the two men — then both attorneys at prominent Chicago law firms — held her down on the hood of her car and cheered each other on as they repeatedly raped her.

The two men say what happened was consensual sex.

Addison pled guilty and was convicted of Second Degree Reckless Endangerment, a felony, and was sentenced to 3 years probation, 5 years confinement, stayed in full, and ordered to complete 300 hours of community service. He was sentenced to thirty days in jail, which were to be served concurrently, and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service on each of the two misdemeanor counts for

Sexual Gratification in Public when Respondent in the town of Brooklyn, Green Lake County, Wisconsin, did commit an act of sexual gratification in public involving the sex organ of one person and the mouth of another contrary to sec. 944.17(a) Wis. Stat.

Butler also pled guilty and was convicted of Second Degree Reckless Endangerment, for which he was sentenced to three years probation, 1 year and 6 months confinement, stayed in full, and was ordered to complete 300 hours of community service.

Each served his time and completed substantial community service.  They also both had to resign from their firms, Addison from Seyfarth Shaw, Butler from Schiff Hardin.

The hearing panel has recommended 60 days’ suspension for Addison and 30 days’ for Butler.

You can do the math on how much extra punishment Addison got (or deserved) for what appears to be the additional crime of oral sex.

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