Irrevocable Trust of Anthony J. Antonious v. Tour Edge Golf Manufacturing, Inc., No. 10 C 5552, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Apr. 17, 2011) (Kennelly, J.).
Judge Kennelly sanctioned two counsel, Silverman and Daghighian, for false statements made in Silverman's pro hac vice application which was filed by Daghighian in this patent case. Daghighian prepared and filed Silverman's application, without his consent or review, based upon prior applications the two had filed in other courts. In doing so, Daghighian stated for Silverman that he had never been suspended from practice and that he had not been held in contempt. The Court later learned that both statements were false. The Court noted that it would likely have granted Silverman's application had he explained the two instances that should have been identified, but despite that the misstatements were material.
The Court ordered that: 1) Silverman provide a copy of the Court's opinion to his state disciplinary authority; 2) Silverman pay a $5,000 fine to the Clerk to be put into the pro bono fund; and 3) Silverman was barred from seeking pro hac vice admission to the Northern District for three years without prior permission from the Court's Executive Committee. Silverman received the more severe sanctions of the two because he was significantly more experienced and because he failed to take personal responsibility in the declaration he provided the Court.
Daghighian received lesser sanctions because he had only been practicing five years and, while his violations were more egregious in some ways, he took responsibility for his actions in his declaration. The Court ordered that: 1) Daghighian provide a copy of the Court's opinion to his state disciplinary authority, but suggested that the authorities consider the mitigating factors the Court noted in rendering its decision; 2) Daghighian pay a $1,000 fine to the Clerk to be put into the pro bono fund; and 3) Daghighian's appearance and pro hac vice application were not stricken.