Sidley Partner Hires Prominent Lawyer in Sex Assault Case
Stallworth will undoudtedly need all the criminal defense expertise Henderson Adam can draw on if he is to beat the charges filed last week by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Elizabeth Dibler, an assistant state’s attorney with the office’s criminal prosecutions bureau, is handling the case against Miller and Stallworth.
As of Monday, Sidley was standing by Stallworth.
“The firm is aware of certain criminal charges filed concerning Stan Stallworth, a partner in the firm. We understand that Stan has entered a plea of not guilty and intends to vigorously contest those allegations,” Sidley said in a statement issued to The Am Law Daily. “While the charges do not relate to the firm or the practice of law, Stan has requested and has been granted leave from the firm to devote his full attention to addressing these charges. The firm will have no further comments.”
Stallworth did not respond to a request for comment on the charges against him. He joined the firm in 1990 and has no record of discipline or pending proceedings against him with the Illinois State Bar Association.
A profile of Stallworth published in the November/December 2007 issue of a publication produced by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association states that he grew up in the southern Alabama city of Evergreen, where he owns more than 160 acres of real estate. He attended Alabama A&M as an undergraduate before getting his law degree from the University of Wisconsin, and is also an avid art collector, according to the MCCA story. Sibling publication The Recorder reported in 2007 that Stallworth headed Sidley's diversity efforts, while The Am Law Daily noted his role providing real estate counsel on client Bunge's $4.8 billion buy of Corn Products International the following year.
The charges against Stallworth are the second dose of bad news for Sidley's real estate practice in recent months.
Last year, former firm real estate practice head and executive committee member Lee Smolen left Sidley's Chicago office before resurfacing several months later at DLA Piper. A complaint filed this summer against Smolen by Illinois attorney disciplinary authorities accuses the ex-Sidley partner of defrauding the firm of nearly $120,000 in expenses, according to our previous reports. Smolen has admitted faking the bills, but maintains he did not do so for personal gain. The disciplinary panel has not yet issued a decision about what punishment, if any, Smolen will face.
Separately, The Am Law Daily reported in late October on the travails of another former Sidley partner, art law specialist Ralph Lerner, whose law license was suspended for a year by New York authorities over his own false expense filings. Lerner is also embroiled in litigation related to allegations he improperly billed a foundation created by late artist Cy Twombly for work he did on the organization's behalf.