Once upon a legal time, Jill Clark and Jill M. Waite were known as "the two Jills," click here for Star Tribune article, iconoclastic lawyers who liked to "shake up the system."
The fawning, starry-eyed Star Tribune article I've linked to, above, obviously wasn't aware of Jill M. Waite's habit of not filing or paying income taxes, a bad habit which cost Waite a five month suspension from the practice of law in June, 2010. The most screamingly funny part of the disciplinary hearing against Waite has to be this line, right here:
The referee also noted that Waite failed to respond to electronic and other messages and orders that she had admittedly or obviously received and rejected Waite's claim that her conduct was caused by “post-traumatic stress disorder” or “computer phobia.”
Yeah, that's the problem with "shaking up the system." The system becomes very aware of who you are, and little stuff like not filing or paying income taxes comes to the attention of "The System."
Presumably, Waite served her suspension and is practicing again since it's been a lot more than 5 months. However, how interesting that Waite is being represented by Jill Clark in a "conciliation court" matter...
According to online court records, Waite is in conciliation court against a guy named Airizes Samuel Miller of Edina. Waite is listed as the defendant, represented by Jill Clark, leading this blogger to ask: if Waite is back to being a lawyer again, why does she need a lawyer?
Airizes S. Miller's distinctive name turns up on two other cases:
Village Park of Bloomington LP vs. Airizes S. Miller, 27-CV-HC-08-9955, which is listed as an "eviction action."
His name turns up again in this case:
Amy Radford vs. Airizes Miller, Terry Roemhildt, Michelle Roemhildt, Visions Real Estate Holding Company, Inc.
Neither Waite nor Clark is an attorney in either of those two actions.
Miller seems to have two court actions against Waite, which are 27-CO-10-7490 and 27-CV-10-28394. These cases are related, one stemming from the other. Bryan Ray Battina is the attorney for Miller in both.
The first case, chronologically, is the "27-CO" case and starts with a "statement of claims and summons" on 9/21/2010. I've never even SEEN a court docket number that has "CO" in it, but it appears to stand for "conciliation court," a kind of legal proceeding where the goal is to get both sides to hold hands and sing "Kumbaya."
Since Waite's suspension started in June of 2010 and was for five months, this claim starts in a period of time while she was suspended. It's not a wild guess to suppose this case may be brought by a former client but there's no solid proof of that.
The "27-CO" case resulted in an "Order for Judgment," followed by a "Demand for Removal to District Court" and then an order vacating the judgment. So much for singing Kumbaya. The order to vacate judgment in "27-CO" took place on 12/13/2010, then the "27-CV" case, listed as a "conciliation appeal," begins on the same date of 12/13/2010 with a "Demand For Removal/Appeal."
The "demand for removal" appears to be "removal" to the district court, not removal of a judge. But when the case was assigned to the Honorable Judge Robert Blaeser, there was an "order for recusal." One of the parties filed to proceed in forma pauperis, meaning they're broke and would like to avoid court fees.
Which party was it? That's not clear.
Judge Abrams was assigned, and there was another order to recuse. The case is listed as "Open" and the last thing to happen with the case was a notice of assignment to the Honorable Judge Ann Leslie Alton on 10/21/2011.
Another question that arises would be: Is Jill M. Waite back to practicing law? To answer that question, I took a spin through the cases where she is listed as attorney, keeping in mind the pivotal dates: June of 2010 through October 2010, when she served her five month suspension from the practice of law.
When using the Minnesota Courts website, more recent cases tend to appear at the bottom of the list, but you can't depend on that completely. Cases drag on forever. How do you define "recent?" Recently filed? Recent activity? Here are some recent cases I examined to try to answer the question: is Waite back to practicing law?
1.) Jill M. Waite, representing herself as her own attorney, filed a lawsuit against Elizabeth and Lloyd Olson of Colorado Springs. The case was filed March 5, 2010, some months before the suspension. There was a default hearing in May. There was a notice of judgement in July. Keep in mind, however, the Olsons had no attorney and were Pro Se. Even a suspended attorney is allowed to represent himself or herself as an attorney.
This case does give me one nugget of interesting information: Jill M. Waite is listed as the lawyer "Retained" on this case even though she is representing HERSELF. This means that in the "lawyer discipline cases" I wrote about in another blog post, where Jill Clark is listed as "Retained" for the anonymous lawyer in question, Clark COULD be representing herself and the online record would still say "Retained."
2.) Aleksky Derevyanko v. Joyce Butler, an eviction action where Waite represented the plaintiff. This thing was over in 2009. No clue here.
3.) Cara O'Keffe v. Wesley Villagas, filed in 2008, completed in 2009.
4.) Same deal with a divorce involving a couple with the surname "Lenius." Cases listed above this one are even OLDER.
So it would appear Waite hasn't been the attorney in a civil, family or probate case since she represented herself against Olson during the period of her suspension. What about CRIMINAL cases? That's a different part of the online court records. Let's check THERE.
1.) She represented a guy named Douglas Lee Lawson in Burnsville over a domestic, which was dismissed. That case was completed in 2009. It appears at the bottom, the most recent case on the list.
2.) Martha Pekarek Winter. Accused of failing to stop for a stop sign. And pleaded GUILTY. What did she even need an attorney for? This was over and done in a single day, 08/06/2008.
3.) All cases listed above the Winter case are even older than 2008.
Despite the face the suspension was only five months, despite the fact it is now one year and six months later, I see no evidence that Waite is practicing law again. HOWEVER, she could be practicing in another state and I don't have evidence for or against that possibility in front of me.
In any case, however...
Standing at a distance, because of the fear of her torment/
Saying, "Woe, woe the great city, Babylon, the strong city/
For in one hour your judgment has come!
How the Empire of the Jills has fallen and become a mere vestige, a ragged remnant of a past glory! It is terrible to look upon. My eyes! Oh, my eyes!
If the Star Tribune wrote an article today about the two Jills, if it wrote one several months from now, the story would be a cautionary tale for young lawyers, an epic legal tragedy. Set yourself up against "The System," and you better file your tax returns, you better answer the messages of your clients, and you might want to avoid going out of your way to piss off and upset judges with abrasive mannerisms.
The System has your name and number. The System knows where you live. The memory of The System is long, its reach is far.
The System doesn't forgive. The System doesn't forget.
Look upon the object lesson of The Two Jills, and take warning.