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“Oh Sh*t!” Attorney Says: That Coat With The Cocaine And Marijuana … It’s Not Mine!

Whatever you do, make sure you don’t grab Mr. Green’s raincoat!

Mr. Ryan, an Illinois attorney, was on his way into the courthouse. As described by the court (Mr. Ryan is the “Respondent”):

Deputy Kennealy, who was assigned to first-floor security at the Daley Center during May of 1999, testified that she was on duty at one of the security stations on the morning of May 24, 1999. At about 9:20 a.m., the Respondent approached the security checkpoint and emptied his pockets into a property tray. Kennealy recalled that the Respondent placed a pack of cigarettes and a napkin and, possibly, a set of keys in the tray. (Tr. 19-23)

Kennealy reached into the tray and picked up the pack of cigarettes the Respondent had placed inside, in order to conduct a search for weapons. At that point, she stated, the Respondent tried to grab the cigarette pack out of her hand and remarked, “Oh, shit, I have to get out of here.” (Tr. 24-26) The Respondent turned and began to walk back through the metal detector, and Kennealy and another deputy brought him back. (Tr. 24) Kennealy felt that the Respondent was attempting to flee at that time because he tried to walk out “fast.” (Tr. 31)(emphasis added).

Kennealy then looked inside the cigarette pack, and found a white powdery substance which was later determined to be cocaine. (Tr. 25-26, Admin. Ex. 6) She placed the Respondent in custody and took him downstairs to the lockup area. In a search of the remainder of the Respondent’s property at the lockup, Kennealy found cannabis in the napkin the Respondent had placed in the tray. (Tr. 25-26, Admin. Ex. 5)

So it’s not looking too good for Mr. Green. Just what did he have to say for himself? Do you think the court will buy it?

…The Respondent then went to Monday’s, a restaurant/bar on Lake Street, across the river from traffic court, where he was scheduled to meet a prospective client. He did not recall the exact time he arrived at the restaurant, but acknowledged that at his September 27, 2001 deposition he testified he arrived there at 9:15 a.m. (Tr. 45-46) The Respondent could not recall the exact name of the individual he was scheduled to meet, but believed his last name was Green and his first name either Alan or Ronald. (Tr. 57) A copy of the page of Respondent’s daily diary for the date of May 24, 1999, which the Respondent did not provide to the Administrator until August of 2001, did not reflect any meeting with a Mr. Green on May 24. (R. 56)

Yes, good old “Mr. Green,” the same fellow many a golfer meets with on the occasional sunny afternoon. (“I have a meeting with Mr. Green. I’ll be gone for the rest of the afternoon.”)

The Respondent stated that Green had been referred to him by a former client. The Respondent believed this former client was a doorman at a downtown building. (Tr. 49-52) The Respondent never spoke directly with the client who had referred Green to him, but stated that he knew from Green where the referral had originated. (Tr. 52) The Respondent acknowledged that at the close of his sworn statement on October 23, 2000 he had informed counsel for the ARDC that he could provide the name of the referring client, but that he had never done so. He stated that he cannot provide the name of that client. (Tr. 53-55)

At the time of their meeting, the Respondent stated, both he and Green had raincoats with them. Also, at that time, both Green and the Respondent were smoking Marlboro Reds. (Tr. 59-62) The Respondent denied that both he and Green had been wearing Yves St. Laurent raincoats, but acknowledged that during his sworn statement he had testified that both and he and his client had such raincoats. (Tr. 59-60)

The Respondent made no notes of his meeting with Green. (Tr. 64) He could not recall how long the meeting lasted, although at his sworn statement said it lasted between fifteen and forty minutes. (Tr. 64-65) The Respondent was “racing” to court at the Daley Center when he left his meeting with Green, and mistakenly grabbed Green’s raincoat.

And what happened to the coat?

The Respondent no longer has in his possession the raincoat he took from Green. (Tr. 73) He had offered to turn the coat over to the Administrator, but the Administrator’s office told the Respondent they did not want the coat.

[Respondent’s wife] stated that, for a period of time, she and the Respondent had a coat in their home which did not belong to either of them. [She] disposed of this coat sometime in 2000, after checking with the Respondent to make sure it was all right to do so. (Tr. 171-72)

And what did Dr. Henry, a board-certified psychiatrist have to say about Mr. Ryan’s story?

Henry stated that his reaction as a board-certified psychiatrist to the Respondent’s story regarding this incident was that the story sounded manufactured, and that it was not an accurate representation of what happened. (Tr. 135-38)

Mr. Ryan had three character witnesses testify on his behalf (stating that he is honest, has a good reputation, and they haven’t seen him do drugs). So so what do you think the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission Hearing Board decided? Mr. Green is free and clear, though the Board recommended that Mr. Ryan be suspended for 6 months. Click here to read the entire opinion.

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