You think YOUR opposing counsel is belligerent?

by | Jan 17, 2022

Kathryn Rubino at Above the Law (as reported also by the ABA Journal) reports on Chicago attorney Felipe Gomez, who apparently takes seriously his “opposing” frame of mind. Mr. Gomez is accused in a bar complaint of sending emails to the attorneys for parties in one of his cases that caused his opposing counsel “to fear for their lives.” Those attorneys complained to the disciplinary commission, which declined to disbar him but did recommend a three-year suspension. The recommendation will be considered by the Illinois Supreme Court.

This story does have a Texas connection. Gomez filed a lawsuit against the San Antonio doctor who wrote the Washington Post opinion piece admitting to having violated Texas’s SB8, which bans abortions after about 8 weeks. In the lawsuit, rather than taking advantage of the law’s “private” enforcement provisions, Gomez asserts that the law is unconstitutional. But apparently, by filing the lawsuit, he could claim the statutory damages of $10,000.

But, we digress.

Quoting Ms. Rubino at Above the Law, Mr. Gomez,

• Sent an email to Schmeltz on Easter 2019 that said, “You sir are despicable and unfit to practice law and I pledge to bring the full weight of justice down on you.” Gomez allegedly sent the email after Schmeltz told Gomez that a subpoena was premature because the parties had not yet conferred.

• Sent a second Easter email calling Schmeltz “Shmuchs” and telling him that he is “engaged in active tampering and obstruction.” The email said Gomez considered Schmeltz and his law firm “an active criminal.”

• Sent another Easter email calling Schmeltz “scum” and telling him to “resign and plea to FBI.”

• Sent an email to Badger asserting that Schmeltz and Barnes & Thornburg “are scum of the Earth and need to be abated. Under RICO I am private AG and doing the abating.” The email was sent after Badger asked Gomez to stop making improper personal attacks in communications.

• Sent an email to Sanfelippo saying he intended “to RICO you, personally, your firm, and your client.” He sent the email after Sanfelippo filed a motion for sanctions.

• Sent an email to Sanfelippo and Fox Rothschild’s managing partner that said: “Liars will be prosecuted. Sanfelippo is a Target … with your firm. I am dead serious.”

• Sent an email to Widman in May 2019 that told him to “get ready for judgment day.”

The commission also cited separate interactions with Chicago’s chief assistant corporation counsel:

• Left a voicemail with Chicago’s chief assistant corporation counsel, Amber Ritter, in September 2018 in which he sang “99 Bottles of Beer of the Wall.” Gomez left the voicemail after seeking city records.

• Sent dozens of emails to Ritter demanding that she resign and accusing her of police misconduct. Gomez sent the emails beginning in September 2018 after Ritter refused to shake Gomez’s hand in court because she considered prior emails and voicemail disturbing.

Attorney Accused Of ‘Extreme And Egregious’ Behavior Over Harassing Emails To Biglaw, Kathryn Rubino, Above the Law (January 12, 2022)
Carron Nicks

Carron Nicks

Attorney + Writer

I am incredibly lucky. After more than 25 years as a bankruptcy and consumer lawyer, I am focusing my practice on what I enjoy most: researching and writing briefs, motions, pleadings, articles, online content, and other media, and helping other attorneys efficiently utilize their resources.

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