CHICAGO – A hearing panel of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (IARDC) in Chicago has approved a recommendation of prosecution lawyers to the Illinois Supreme Court for the Court “to suspend Filipino American lawyer Alfonso S. Bascos for one year and until further order of the court.”
Lawyer Jim Grogan, spokesman of IARDC, said, “Either party (the prosecution panel and Bascos) has 21 days to file exceptions (appeal) to the Hearing Board report. If no appeal is filed, the (IARDC) administrator would file a motion to approve and confirm the Hearing Board report in the Illinois Supreme Court.”
Grogan said, “The Court usually issues disciplinary orders during a Term of Court. The Court meets five times a year in term. The Court next meets in January Term, but I think that there will be no time to include this matter on the Court’s docket for resolution in January. I would think that the March Term of Court would be the probable time that the Court would consider a motion to approve and confirm.”
An email requesting Bascos to comment was not answered.
It is likely that the 80-year-old Bascos, whose IARDC Illinois Registration Status is listed as “Retired — not authorized to practice law or provide pro bono services; Last Registered Year: 2016,” is not going file an appeal.
A lawyer familiar with the case was reported to have been informed that Bascos was giving up his law practice.
Last September, the prosecution panel of IARDC recommended to the hearing panel the imposition of a “one-year suspension” on Bascos after the Illinois Supreme Court denied a previous recommendation of the IARDC administrator to suspend Bascos “for six months.” This set the stage for the re-hearing of the case.
Bascos had been accused before IARDC of preparing a Power of Attorney (POA) that let Certified Nurse Assistant Carmelita V. Pasamba “gain access to (elderly Marshall F.) Davies’s assets. This led to the misappropriation of Davies’s more than $536,000 assets.”
IARDC prosecutors believe Bascos should pay restitution to Davies. But because Bascos paid only $400 in restitution, the prosecutors initially recommended that Bascos be suspended indefinitely.
At the re-hearing held last September, the IARDC prosecution panel reduced its recommended penalty of suspension from indefinite suspension to “one year until further order by the court for engaging in a pattern of misconduct involving conflict of interest,” citing the case of lawyer Steve Anthony Kubiatowski as precedent.
Kubiatowki was involved in three separate cases for drafting estate planning documents and preparing wills and POA on behalf of elderly clients without consulting them and without determining their interest if they are competent to sign documents. This allowed other people to take advantage of his clients and assets.
IARDC prosecution lawyers said Bascos has no professional and personal relationship with Pasamba and he (Bascos) did not personally benefit from the transaction, and for that reason, “We are asking for one year suspension until further order by the court. We did not ask for restitution. We don’t believe respondent (Bascos) will be allowed to re-enter the practice of law until that restitution was made.”
Court records show that Pasamba approached Bascos to make a Power of Attorney for her so she could be a co-signatory to Davies’s checks. Pasamba also asked Bascos to revise the pour-over will and trust of Davies. Instead of talking to Davies alone, Bascos relied on Pasamba, who dictated the terms of the POA and pour-over will and trust to Bascos, This caused the inability of Bascos to find out if Davies had legal and mental capacities to make an informed decision.