We like to provide updates on lawyers we’ve covered in the past, just to close the loop and keep readers informed. For example, if a lawyer is accused of wrongdoing, we cover the allegations, and then the charges are dropped, we’d like to write about the clearing of that person’s name. (If you’re aware of such a situation, please email us.)
Sometimes attorneys are punished rather than exonerated, however. Today we bring you news about the Illinois bar’s disciplining of Stephan Addison and Benjamin Butler, both 2004 graduates of the University of Wisconsin Law School, whom we first wrote about back in 2007. The two were once associates at large law firms — Addison at Seyfarth Shaw, and Butler at Schiff Hardin. They left their firms after being accused of sexual assault, after a drunken three-way hook-up that went very, very wrong.
So what are they up to now?
An Illinois hearing board has recommended short suspensions for two former BigLaw associates for their conduct during a long day of partying in Wisconsin that ended with a sexual encounter and allegations of rape.
The hearing board report recommends a 60-day suspension for Stephan Addison, who formerly worked at Seyfarth Shaw, and a 30-day suspension for Benjamin Butler, who had worked at Schiff Hardin. Addison now has a solo legal practice and is a consultant for a private equity company, while Butler is a solo and an independent contractor with Collins, Bargione and Vuckovich.
Oooh, Addison wound up in private equity — isn’t that the dream of many a firm lawyer?
The suspensions were rooted in a criminal action against the pair:
Addison and Butler had entered no-contest pleas in December 2006 to lesser charges in a criminal case based on the accusations of a woman they met in a bar after a day of drinking in August 2005, the report says. The woman agreed to drive the men to Addison’s summer house, and ended up having sex on the hood of the car with the men. She told police she had been raped; they said the sex was consensual.
The two men received slightly different sentences, the ABA Journal notes:
Addison pleaded no contest to second-degree reckless endangerment and sexual gratification in public, and was sentenced to 30 days in jail with work release, three years of probation and 500 hours of community service. Butler pleaded no contest to second-degree endangerment, and was sentenced to three years of probation and 300 hours of community service.
What explains the difference? Addison allegedly did one thing with the victim that Butler did not — check out Law Shucks (last paragraph).
Was that act worth the extra punishment given to Addison over Butler — 30 days in jail (but with work release), 200 more hours of community service, and 30 more days of suspension? We suspect not.
BigLaw Vets Convicted After Debauchery Facing Suspensions [Law Shucks]
Party and Sexual Encounter Lead to Proposed Suspension for 2 Ex-BigLaw Associates [ABA Journal]
Party Leads To Proposed Suspensions [Legal Profession Blog]
In re Addison and Butler [Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission]