Failure to Disclose Title Agency - ARDC Censure Notice

March 4, 2022: Although an injunction has been entered suspending compliance with the revised version of the Illinois title agent disclosure form (DS1), ATG member agents still have a duty to make proper disclosure of their interest as title agent using the original DS1 form and other disclosure forms as outlined in the following articles.


Source: ARDC Rules and Decisions - Decision from Disciplinary Reports and Decisions Search of Sharran Greenberg.


M.R. 20776 - In re: Sharran Greenberg. (March 21, 2006)

Disciplinary Commission.

The petition by the Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission to impose discipline on consent pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 762(b) is allowed, and respondent Sharran Greenberg is censured.

Order entered by the Court.


Petition Allowed by the Illinois Supreme Court
and Imposing Discipline on Consent

Allowed March 21, 2006



In the Matter of:

Supreme Court No. M.R. 20776
Commission No. 05 CH 26

No. 6187115.


Mary Robinson, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by her attorney, Meriel Coleman, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 762(b), with the consent of Respondent Sharran Greenberg and the approval of a panel of the Hearing Board, petitions the Court to enter an order censuring Respondent. In support of the petition, the Administrator states:


1. The Administrator requests that the Court enter an order censuring Respondent for failing to disclose to a client her financial interest in the client's title insurance and for failing to respond to demands for information from a disciplinary authority. Respondent, who was admitted to practice law in Illinois on May 10, 1984, has not previously been disciplined and has expressed remorse for her conduct.

2. A censure would be consistent with the Court's precedent in cases involving comparable misconduct, including In re McGaughey, M.R. 12215, 96 CH 68 (March 26, 1996).

3. Respondent's affidavit is attached as Exhibit One. At the time this petition was prepared, a two-count complaint was pending against Respondent before the Hearing Board. The members of the Board assigned to consider that matter have, as required by Rule



762(b)(1)(b), approved the submission of this matter to the Court as an agreed matter. A copy of the order authorizing the submission of this matter is attached as Exhibit Two. A copy of the transcript of proceedings before the Hearing Board on January 31, 2006, is attached as Exhibit Three.


(Failure to disclose financial interest in title insurance to Faud and Ann Sarkis)

4. Between April 6, 2001, and July 9, 2004, Respondent was an approved attorney for Ticor Title Insurance Corporation (hereinafter "Ticor"). As an approved attorney for Ticor, Respondent acted as an agent for Ticor, reviewed title reports in connection with certain real estate transactions, and was compensated by Ticor pursuant to a fee schedule.

5. Between April 6, 2001, and July 9, 2004, Respondent represented Faud and Ann Sarkis (hereinafter "the Sarkises") with respect to three real estate closings as the sellers' attorney (hereinafter "the Sarkis closings"). Respondent received a total of $1,750 from the Sarkises as her attorney's fee.

6. For each of the Sarkis closings, Respondent ordered title policies from Ticor and examined title with respect to each property. Respondent received an additional $8,161.60 from Ticor for the services that she provided as Ticor's approved attorney in the Sarkis closings.

7. At no time during the course of representing the Sarkises in their closings did Respondent inform them that she was an agent and approved attorney for Ticor, or that she was receiving a financial benefit as a result of her use of Ticor for issuance of their title policies.



(Failure to respond to the Administrator in the Sarkis investigation matter)

8. On August 23, 2004, the Administrator received a request for investigation of Respondent from Ann Sarkis, regarding Respondent's failure to disclose to the Sarkises her relationship with Ticor as a preferred attorney.

9. On August 31, 2004, the Administrator sent a letter to Respondent requesting that she provide information and documents to the Administrator relating to the matters raised in Ms. Sarkis' request for an investigation.

10. On September 23, 2004, Respondent sent a facsimile transmission to the Administrator indicating that she would be out of town until October 4, 2005, and would respond to the Administrator's request upon her return.

11. On October 22, 2004, November 15, 2004, and, January 18, 2005, the Administrator sent additional letters to Respondent requesting that she provide to the Administrator information in response to Ms. Sarkis' request for investigation of a lawyer. Respondent never replied to any of the Administrator's letters, although she received them.

12. On February 9, 2005, the Administrator mailed Respondent a subpoena duces tecum via certified mail, requiring her to appear for a sworn statement at the offices of the Administrator on February 22, 2005, at 2:00 p.m., and to produce all notes, records, memoranda, documents, correspondence and files relating to her representation of Faud and Ann Sarkis. Respondent received the subpoena duces tecum shortly after it had been mailed by the Administrator.

13. Respondent did not appear for the sworn statement nor did she produce the requested documents.



14. By reason of the conduct outlined above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

a. failure to explain a matter sufficiently to permit a client to make informed decisions regarding the representation, in violation of Rule 1.4(b) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct;

b. entering into a business transaction with a client without obtaining client consent after disclosure, by purchasing title insurance for her clients from Ticor, in violation of Rule 1.8(a) of the Rules of Professional Conduct;

c. failing to respond to lawful demands for information from a disciplinary authority, in violation of Rule 8.1(a)(2) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct and Commission Rule 53;

d. conduct which is prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct; and

e. conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute, in violation of Supreme Court Rule 770.


15. In mitigation, Respondent has been admitted to practice law in Illinois since May 10, 1984, and has never before been disciplined. She has expressed remorse for her conduct, and she has cooperated in this proceeding since the filing of the Administrator's complaint.


16. The Administrator recommends that Respondent be censured. This sanction would be consistent with precedent from this Court involving comparable misconduct.

17. In In re McGaughey, M.R. 12215, 96 CH 68 (March 26, 1996), an attorney was censured for representing diverse interests in the sale of oil and gas leases, acting as arbitrator of



title disputes in the sale and supervising oil field operations on the subject property for several years without making full disclosures to the clients about the possible effects of his multiple roles.

18. In In re Dominick, M.R. 19332, 03 CH 70 (May 17, 2004), the Court censured an attorney for neglecting an adoption and a third-party claim and failing to cooperate with the Administrator's investigation.

19. Like the respondent in McGaughey, Respondent exercised multiple roles in connection with her clients' transactions, without making full disclosures to the Sarkises as to the implications of her employment with Ticor. Additionally, neither Respondent nor McGaughey had previously been disciplined. Under the circumstances of this case, a censure would be appropriate, given the nature of Respondent's misconduct.


WHEREFORE, the Administrator, with the consent of the Respondent and the approval of the Hearing Board, respectfully requests that this Court enter an order censuring Respondent.

Meriel Coleman
Counsel for the Administrator
130 East Randolph Drive, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60601-6219
Telephone: (312) 565-2600

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Robinson, Administrator
Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission

By:  Meriel Coleman

[Last update: 9-27-12]