From AP: Complaints against corrupt attorneys David Martin, Andrew Dobszyn and Joanne Bruzgul–will the ARDC do anything when presented with valid attorney complaints?

Anthony Phillips
6128 N Monticello Ave
Chicago, IL 60659
VIA First Class Mail, USPS prepaid, with tracking
cc: JIB FAX 312 814 5719
February 23, 2018
RE: Complaint against attorneys Joanne Bruzgul, David Martin and Andrew
Dobszyn and Wendy Cappaletto
Estate of Lorraine Phillips 2011 P 1044
To: Complaint Intake
Dear Sir/Madam;
I wish to file a complaint against Joanne Bruzgul on two grounds 1) malpractice in
handling the above estate matter; 2) theft, conversion and embezzlement because she
was paid in full by the Estate of Phillips, she obtained liens on my mother’s property for
the full amount she charged, and in fact the probate court approved 100% of her fees,
but she never returned the $22,000 in upfront or bill payments made during the time
she worked on the estate. She never provided me with an accounting after numerous
demands to do so.
On or about March 2012, I hired Attorney Joanne Bruzgul to represent me in a
guardianship matter where she was supposed to have me appointed sole Guardian of
the estate of my mother. A copy of her retainer agreement is attached hereto.
She presented fee petitions to the Guardianship court, and they approved 100% of her
fees. At the time, the Estate had insufficient funds to pay all the attorneys, and the
approval of those liens and court orders were on the basis that once a property located
at 630-32 S. Wabash was sold, all the attorney liens were to be paid in full.
In January 2016, the 630-32 S. Wabash Property was in fact sold. Atty Bruzgul should
have bee paid in full. Andrew Dobszyn was the attorney for Associated Bank, the
guardian of the estate.
It is not known why attorney Dobszyn did not pay Ms. Bruzgul. He had court approval
to do so. Atty Dobszyn was represented by Atty David Martin. Paul Franciszkowicz
was the GAL. All the attorneys were promptly paid what was approved by the court and
none sought any interest payment on the balance.
A title report was pulled sometime prior to the closing, indicating the Bruzgul liens. DM
claims he tried to work this out with Atty Bruzgul, but at no time prior to closing, did DM
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Anthony Phillips
February 13, 2018
Complaint against Bruzgul, Martin and Dobzyn
tell the probate court or myself that Bruzgul refused to release the lien upon payment to
her. I believe he breached his fiduciary duty to myself by not informing me of the fact
that Bruzgul refused to release her lien, and was not paid in full.
Accordingly, unbeknownst to me, the Title Company (Chicago Title Land Trust
Company–CTLTC) had their insurance company (Chicago Title Insurance Co.–CTIO)
hold back $100,000 at the closing. Neither I nor the probate court was told of any of
this. The judge could have straightened all of this out prior to closing, had she been fully
Recently, Atty Bruzgul filed a foreclosure action 2017 CH 16577 against 630-32 S.
Wabash alleging she was owed some $76,752 in interest and principal, despite the f act
she was told that no attorney would get interest in the case, they could only have a lien.
In addition, the computation of 9% interest is nothing but a bald faced lie. The Illinois
law pertaining to prejudgment interest only allows 9% per annum compounded
annually, not daily, not by the minute, not by the second.
Accordingly, Bruzgul has lied at least three times to the chancery court in her Complaint
(attached hereto) and grossly inflated what was owed to her ab initio 1) she fails to
mention the $22,000 that I paid her in up f ront fees; 2) she is compounding interest on
a daily basis, which is not permitted by statue; 3) she knows that the probate court sets
the manner in which fee petitions are paid, and these are presumably what is fair and
reasonable, and no attorney receives interest, it was not allowed for in any of her court
ordered judgments and no other attorney was paid prejudgment interest.
David Martin and Andrew Dobszyn knew all along about the problems at closing and did
not reveal any of these facts to the court, before, during or after closing. In fact, this
entire screw up was only mentioned in the probate court after attorney Bruzgul filed suit.
DM’s client is my sister, Tina Phillips, and I believe she was not told about this mess.
DM has a fiduciary duty to inform me as coguardian of all assets and liability of the
estate in a prompt and timely manner. His client is a coguradian. I was never told of
any of this until recently. This matter should have been fully disclosed in the probate
court and handled before closing. Instead it turned into a $100,000 screw up and the
estate is likely to lose that money to lawyers for CTLTC and CTIC.
B. Bruzgul took $22,000, more or less from me and refuses to provide an
I am further attaching 4 email demands to Atty Bruzgul to provide me with an
accounting, and to date, she refuses to do so. An attorney must provide an accounting
to a client within a reasonable time period after a demand has been made.
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Anthony Phillips
February 13, 2018
Complaint against Bruzgul, Martin and Dobzyn
She refuses repeatedly to do this or answer my requests in any manner.
C. During the Guardianship case when Bruzgul Represented me, she committed
I was forced to file suit against Ms. Bruzgul for malpractice.
During the Guardianship case, she committed the following errors (from the Third
Amended Complaint, Phillips v. Bruzgul):
1. Plaintiff re-alleges each of the foregoing paragraphs as if fully stated
2. This count is against Deft. Bruzgul and Bruzgul and Associates only.
3. Bruzgul had a duty to represent Anthony to the best of her abilities as a
reasonably competent attorney would in the same or similar
4. Bruzgul breached her duty to Anthony by:
a. Failing to explore the deposition of Sally Griffin of ABT
regarding her the uncorroborated accusations as to
Anthony’s character and competency;
b. Wrongfully insisting and imploring that Plaintiff Anthony
must sign the Agreed Order which prevented proceeding
with a trial he was certain to win due to Deft. Katina’s liens
on the Mother’s Properties, and an order which threatened
to place Mother Lorraine permanently in a nursing home if
he did not sign–both of which were wrongful and illegal
intimidation by Deft’s Martin and Franciszkowicz and which
Deft. Bruzgul participated in. Deft. Bruzgul failed to provide
Plaintiff Anthony with the option of going to trial and that the
threats were wrongful intimidation and should have been
reported to the authorities.
c. Failing to seek to vacate or modify the June 27, 2012 agreed
order after learning that the side order had been vacated,
thereby removing Lane from any further representation of
Lorraine or her Estate;
d. Failing to advise Plaintiff Anthony that he could appeal the
Court’s denial of the motion to reconsider Lane’s removal;
e. Failing to advise Anthony of his rights prior to the signing of
the agreed order;
f. Failing to demand that the agreed order contain all the
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Anthony Phillips
February 13, 2018
Complaint against Bruzgul, Martin and Dobzyn
material facts and conditions from all the orders entered on
June 27, 2012 so as to avoid any misrepresentation of the
g. Have stated in the Agreed Order that Lane would remain the
attorney of record in all three cases;
h. Failing to object to the language in the various orders that
acted to the detriment of Anthony;
i. Failing to structure orders to ensure that monies owed to the
estate would go to Anthony as a preference, with priority
before all other claims;
j. Failing to give Anthony adequate notice of fee petitions so
he could review them;
k. Failing to provide Anthony with copies of pleadings filed by
adverse parties to the underlying action;
l. Failing to review the Andreou & Casson Ltd. retainer;
m. Failing to challenge the conflict of interest of attorney David
Martin representing two of the three co-guardians for the
Estate by written motion and/or objections for the record;
n. Failing to inform Anthony that he could file an emergency
motion to stop or delay the impending settlement in order to
save the Estate $300,000; and
o. By being otherwise careless or negligent.
5. As a proximate result of one or more of the aforesaid acts and/or
omissions by Bruzgul, Anthony sustained the following pecuniary
damages in his capacity as co-guardian of the Estate:
a. The removal of Lane cost the estate attorney’s fees and
costs, which would have otherwise been avoided;
b. The settlement agreement cost the Estate the amount
agreed upon;
c. Removing the settlement monies from the Estate deprived
the Estate of capital it could have used to improve certain
properties owned by the Estate, which could have then been
sold for a greater profit rather than being undervalued as
they are now, or could have helped the Estate be financially
self-sufficient by developing the Wasbash properties into a
parking lot, as Mother Lorraine had already undertaken
substantial steps toward doing so.
d. The result of the Agreed Order has effectively denied
Plaintiff Anthony his counsel of choice, Nejla Lane and her
former associate, Kristine Baumstark. Both Defts. Martin
and Franciszkowicz have stated to Plaintiff Anthony and/or
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Anthony Phillips
February 13, 2018
Complaint against Bruzgul, Martin and Dobzyn
his agents they would “not allow” him to use either Ms. Lane
or Ms. Baumstark as his counsel of record.
6. As a proximate result of one or more of the aforesaid acts and/or
omissions by Bruzgul, Anthony sustained the following pecuniary
damages in his capacity as an individual:
a. Having no rate of pay provision in the agreed order cost
Anthony money because as a full-time caretaker of his
mother, he had no other income;
b. Anthony has had to expend time and out-of-pocket
expenses to pursuing a rate of pay provision.
c. Plaintiff Anthony will have far less money to inherit due to
the actions and inactions negligence, malfeasance and
misfeasance of each of the Defendants.
7. Plaintiff re-alleges each of the foregoing paragraphs as if fully stated
8. This cause of action is against Defendants Bruzgul and Bruzgul and
Associates only.
9. On March 3, 2012, Anthony entered into a legal services contract with
BRUZGUL & ASSOCIATES, LTD., whereby the said law firm would
“[r]epresent Client in his cross-petition to be appointed guardian of the
person and the estate of his disabled mother, Lorraine Phillips, including
representation at guardianship hearing and necessary preparation to the
conclusion of the case so long as the Client desires such representation.”
10. Anthony initially paid Bruzgul $5,000.00 for the retention of said services,
receipt of which was acknowledged.
11. Over the course of several months, Anthony ultimately paid Bruzgul
upwards of $20,000.00.
12. The material terms of the agreement were breached in one or more of the
ways detailed in paragraph 64, above.
13. As a proximate result of these breaches, Anthony sustained the pecuniary
damages listed above and claims his total fees paid for all legal services
rendered allegedly on his behalf.
14. Plaintiff re-alleges each of the forgoing paragraphs as if set forth fully
15. This Cause of Action is against Defts. Bruzgul and Bruzgul and Associates
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Anthony Phillips
February 13, 2018
Complaint against Bruzgul, Martin and Dobzyn
16. Bruzgul had a duty to represent Plaintiff Anthony to the best of her abilities
as a reasonably competent attorney would do in the same or similar
17. Bruzgul breahed her duty to Plaintiff Anthony by failing to inform him that it
was not possible for the OPG to threaten that he must take a particular
settlement concocted by Dft. David Martin or the OPG would institutionalize
Lorraine Phillips.
18. That Bruzgul should have advised Pltff Anthony that such a settlment offer
is void and without effect under the law.
19. That Defendants Bruzgul and Bruzgul and Associates have wilfully and
contemptuously participated in a civil conspiracy to deny Plaintiff his civil
and due process rights during settlement and have failed to advise him
properly and assert his rights, entitling him to his actual and punitive
damages and his reasonable attorneys fees.
20. Plaintiff re-alleges each of the forgoing paragraphs as if set forth fully
21. This Cause of Action is against all defendants.
22. That all defendants appeared in the Guardianship case and directly
supported unconstitutional motions for gag orders, orders that prevented
Anthony Phillips from consulting with his preferred counsel, Nejla Lane,
unconstitutional orders that prevented him from freely copying and studying
23. In addition, Defendants Bruzgul, Katina, Franciszkowicz and Martin
threatened Plaintiff Anthony that if he would not agree to become coguardian
and settle the matter, they would place Mother Lorraine in an
24. In all of this Deft. Bruzgul did not appropriately advice Plaintiff Anthony
regarding his civil rights.
25. Deft. Bruzgul also negligently agreed to settle a case for $300k together
with the other defendants, causing Mother Lorraine’s Estate to be
unnecessarily depleted by that amount. The very day after this Settlement
was approved, the Jury found for Deft. Mother Lorraine on all counts.
However, Defts. Francisczkowicz and Martin continued to advise the
Guardianship court that they “saved” the Lorraine Phillips estate “a million
dollars” by paying out a $300k settlement. In addition, Bruzgul should have
objected to the scheduled court proceeding being held in a small room
without a court reporter on the day the two of three co guardians voted to
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Anthony Phillips
Grievance regarding Bruzgul, Martin and Dobzyn
February 13, 2018
settle the Great America case for $300,000. This was a very important
discussion because the next day the jury came back in favor of the
26. Defts. Holmes and Cappaletto came out to Mother Lorraine’s home, Deft.
Holmes drafted up a false and fraudulent report, and then the OPG refused
to provide it to Son Anthony. In addition, they threatened to remove
Lorraine Phillips from her home and sell all her belongings. Deft. Holmes
wrote up a false and fraudulent report which supported this contention,
upon information and belief. Deft. Cappalletto wrote a threatening email
which was provided to Deft. Anthony in which she condemned the home
and threatened to place Mother Lorraine into a nursing home. Accordingly,
all the defendants conspired together to falsely deplete the guardianship
estate and interfere with Plaintiff Anthony’s right to his inheritance.
27. The above actions by all defendants comprise the tort of Expectation with
an Inheritance, entitling Plaintiff Anthony to his actual damages of attorneys
fees falsely spent in the guardianship, the $300,000 unnecessary
settlement, as well as his attorneys fees in this action.
For all of the above reasons, the deception, lies and subterfuge, I am demanding
that attorneys Bruzgul, Martin and Dobszyn be disbarred.
Anthony Phillips
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