United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, E.D
October 7, 1968
IN THE MATTER OF JULIUS LUCIUS ECHELES, AN ATTORNEY.
Before Campbell, Chief Judge, Parsons and Will, District
Judges, as the Executive Committee.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Campbell, Chief Judge.
MEMORANDUM, FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND ORDER
The respondent Julius Lucius Echeles was admitted to practice
before the bar of this court on November 13, 1947. On October 15,
1952 the respondent was indicted and charged in this court with
using influence to obtain positions for various persons in the
United States Post Office. After a trial by jury the respondent
was convicted on all thirteen counts of the indictment. The
were affirmed by the Court of Appeals, (7 Cir., 222 F.2d 144).
The Supreme Court of the United States denied respondent's
petition for certiorari. (350 U.S. 828, 76 S.Ct. 58, 100 L.Ed.
739, rehearing denied 350 U.S. 905, 76 S.Ct. 176, 100 L.Ed. 795).
On said conviction respondent entered a federal penitentiary in
November 1955 where he remained until paroled in August 1956.
Prior to entering prison respondent filed a motion in the Supreme
Court of Illinois to strike his name from the roll of attorneys
of the State of Illinois. No motion was filed in this court. His
motion was allowed by the Illinois Supreme Court.
Under the rules in effect at that time and under our present
rules, a member of the bar of this court may be disbarred on
proof of a commission of a felony. (General Rule 8.) Under the
rules now in effect, resignation from the bar of a state is
likewise grounds for disbarment. (General Rule 8). However, after
the 1954 convictions no disbarment proceedings were commenced
against this respondent either in this court or in the courts of
After his release from prison in 1956 respondent filed a
petition in the Supreme Court of Illinois requesting
reinstatement to the active roll of attorneys of the State of
Illinois. His petition was granted by that court. On March 19,
1959 respondent presented a petition in camera and without notice
to one of the judges of this court other than the judge before
whom he was tried in which he represented that he had been so
reinstated to the active roll of attorneys of the State of
Illinois and requesting an order that the Clerk of this court
spread such facts of record in order that there be no question of
his right to practice before this court. Said order was so
entered in chambers.
In 1963 respondent was again indicted and charged with the
subornation of perjury of a witness in a trial before this court
and with obstructing and impeding the due administration of
justice by endeavoring to induce witnesses in a trial before this
court to testify falsely. On June 23, 1964, after a trial by
jury, respondent was convicted on all four counts of that
indictment. Upon said convictions and pursuant to the rules of
this court, (General Rule 8) the Executive Committee thereafter
entered an order suspending respondent from the practice of law
before this court. (Order, June 23, 1964). Respondent's
convictions on the charges of subornation of perjury and of
obstructing justice were subsequently reversed and remanded for a
separate trial by The Court of Appeals. (United States v.
Echeles, 7 Cir., 352 F.2d 892). On the basis of the Court of
Appeals' decision respondent filed a motion before this court
requesting that the Executive Committee's order of suspension be
vacated. That motion the Executive Committee denied without
prejudice to a new motion being filed upon the conclusion of the
still pending criminal case. (Order May 17, 1966). That order was
appealed and reversed by the Court of Appeals.
In its reversal of the suspension the Court of Appeals,
374 F.2d 780, reviewed the history of respondent's convictions and
held that the 1954 conviction, "no longer affords a foundation
for a summary suspension under (District Court) Rule 8 even
though it fulfils the rule if taken literally."
"* * * it would be unfair, after this lapse of time
and in the light of intervening circumstances to
treat the 1954 conviction as the sole foundation for
any suspension or disbarment, let alone a summary or
ex parte order under Rule 8."
The 1954 convictions are, however;
"* * * surely relevant to his trustworthiness as an
attorney, and may be properly considered, with other,
more recent facts, in a disciplinary proceeding at
any time * * *."
The court further held however, that because the recent 1964
convictions were reversed, those convictions also could not
support a suspension order, even though that court, in reversing
those convictions, concluded that there was
sufficient evidence to establish Echeles' guilt, finding error
only in the trial court's refusal to grant respondent a trial
separate from that of another defendant.
The Court of Appeals also noted in vacating our suspension
order that our present Rule 8 which was revised May 1, 1965 and
which provides for ex parte suspension or disbarment of an
attorney convicted of a felony contains no provision for the
event of reversal of a judgment or conviction underlying an ex
parte order of suspension or disbarment. A prior rule did provide
for reinstatement in such event. Our rule is now being amended to
conform to the mandate of the Court of Appeals.
Upon the retrial of the charges of subornation of perjury and
of impeding and obstructing justice the jury was unable to reach
a verdict. Subsequently, pursuant to Rule 29(c),
(Fed.R.Crim.Proc.) the trial judge entered a judgment of
In May, 1968 the Executive Committee again took up the question
of the respondent's qualifications, moral and otherwise, to
continue to appear before the bar of this court. Obviously the
pattern of conduct hereinabove recited falls far short of
compliance with his admission oath to:
"* * * support the Constitution of the United States
of America; that I will faithfully discharge my
duties as an Attorney and Counselor; and that I will
demean myself uprightly and according to law and the
recognized standards of ethics of the profession. So
help me God."
A full hearing was held before the Executive Committee sitting
en banc. The evidence against the respondent was very ably
presented by Robert Collins, Esq. First Assistant United States
Attorney, for whose services in support of our disciplinary
efforts we are deeply grateful. The respondent was equally ably
represented by Albert E. Jenner, Esq., who had been his attorney
in the Court of Appeals and in the re-trial of the criminal case.
Upon the conclusion of evidence the matter was argued in
excellent briefs by both sides. We are persuaded by Mr. Jenner's
argument that we have no alternative, under the interpretation of
our existing rules by the Court of Appeals, to dismissing the
pending proceeding against the respondent.
Accordingly, this proceeding is hereby dismissed.
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