Lawyer Suspended for YouTube Post of Client’s Drug Dealing


On March 14, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court suspended Mt. Sterling lawyer Jesse Raymond Gilsdorf for a period of five months. Adopting a report and recommendation from a disciplinary commission hearing board, the court found that Gilsdorf violated his confidentiality obligation by posting on YouTube a video provided by prosecutors in a drug-distribution case. Gilsdorf posted the video on YouTube (with links through his Facebook page) because he thought that it exonerated his client. He later took down the video when he realized that it actually inculpated his client in distributing Hydrocodone pills. By then, it was too late—the client had suffered humiliation in the wake of a “media storm” surrounding the posting:

[Gilsdorf] published damning evidence on the Internet with little to no thought or discussion of the possible consequences to his client . . . . His conduct threatened the fairness of a criminal proceeding and harmed his client.

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