IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
June 13, 2006
PAULA JOHNSON, PLAINTIFF,
LELAND CHERRY AND JAMES MISTER, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Murphy, Chief District Judge
On March 21, 2006, the Court ordered attorney Barbara Clinite to show cause why she should not be suspended indefinitely from the practice of law in the Southern District of Illinois. Clinite filed a response as ordered on April 18, 2006 (see Doc. 84), and the Court has now carefully considered the issues.
It appears to the Court that while she may be close to being properly equipped to practice law in this district court, she is not there. She claims that she is on her way to getting the necessary equipment and training and should be ready to go in 60 days. Unfortunately, Clinite's showing is not enough at this time to discharge the show cause order.
The inability to electronically file documents is, at least in part, what led to Clinite's problems about which the Court of Appeals discussed in its opinion. Because she was unable to file documents as a lawyer, she had her client file them, and the mixup concerning signatures followed. The Court of Appeals issued its decision on September 6, 2005 -- almost nine months ago. Clinite knew then that the inability to electronically file documents had caused the trouble (the Court notes that the Seventh Circuit opinion indicates that Clinite had requested an extension of time to comply with the requirements of the [electronic filing] system back when these problems were erupting, in July and August, 2004). In fact, she was also sanctioned for disclosing her electronic case filing login and password to her client (a sanction which she did not even contest on appeal). None of the problems that led to the sanctions would have existed if Clinite had done what was necessary to be able to electronically file documents. Now, almost nine months later, she still cannot comply.
Accordingly, under its inherent authority as Chief Judge, the Court SUSPENDS Barbara Clinite from practice as an attorney in the Southern District of Illinois. Clinite may re-apply for admission when she can show that she has a valid personal or professional email address to send and receive court documents, that she has taken a training course on the CM/ECF system, and that she has the equipment, knowledge, and the ability to file documents electronically.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
G. PATRICK MURPHY Chief United States District Judge
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