Court upholds fine for lawyer who worked as broker and attorney on same transaction

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A state appeals court upheld regulators’ decision to fine a lawyer who worked as both a broker and attorney on the same real estate deal.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in 2015 fined Barrington-based attorney Peter Curielli, who’s also a licensed broker, $9,500, and recommended his license be suspended indefinitely. The panel found Curielli worked as a broker and attorney on the sale of a Chicago property two years earlier, according to the Cook County Record.

Curielli went to court to fight the discipline, and in 2017 a Lake County judge threw out the sanctions against him.

But the Illinois Second District Appellate Court earlier this month ruled Judge Mitchell Hoffman erred in tossing the discipline and it reinstated the fine against Curielli.

In her opinion, Justice Ann Jorgensen cited an email Curielli sent to the sellers’ attorney in which “he provided services to (the buyers) that required his legal knowledge,” specifically regarding rules for short sales.

While it reinstated the fine against him, the panel eliminated the suspension, agreeing with Curielli that it was unreasonable given his lack of prior discipline and minor nature of his infractions. [Cook County Record]John O’Brien

 

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