As a lawyer myself, I refuse to represent attorney's as clients. And I would never rent to one either. We make terrible tenants/clients - which is why we're homeowners. ;)
I have had good experiences with mystery money/cash tenants, but I do extensive vetting. And each area/tenant is different of course.
In Illinois, if a lawyer pulled that, it is technically reportable to the iARDC (That's who governs our law licenses). It would fall under filing a vexatious/frivolous pleading, presuming that's what's going on. I don't advocate burning my own kind at the stake, but clowns like this move from victim to victim, and the report may protect the general public at large from future harm.
A wise person told me to never ever ever ever ever rent to someone who has a felony on their record.......no matter how long ago.....no matter what the circumstances.
There are also some people I have "heard" will never rent to or sell a property to an attorney simply because of the potential litigous nature of their profession to try and find something wrong when things don't go their way. (I of course am NOT telling you to not rent to anyone at all based on their profession or past criminal history, I am simply telling you what I have "heard of" what others have done to prevent such potential foolishness)
Congrats on the lesson learned my friend
I had a dead beat tenant too. Luckily, I was able to retain my property through a writ of possession. However, it took 3 months to have this resolved. Legal fees, mortgage payments, and loss of rent payments. Unfortunately (in Texas) there was nothing I could do. I was advised that the law protects the tenant against "slumlords" and I would just have to wait it out. I was told the same thing about the case going to civil court. More time and money from me.
I don't know of anything you can do but I will tell you, even if you go to court the only thing happens is the judge rules in your favor. Its just a ruling! The tenant will have a judgement on his credit history..that's it. You wont get your money back. Unless, you have a good lawyer who specializes in landlord/tenant laws and knows of ways to get him to pay. This is just based on my experience (Texas law).
This is a terrible situation. If you have a really good relationship with your attorney, you could see if they could take your case on pro bono. If not, maybe they will allow you to do a payment plan. Hopefully it won't come to a jury trial. I've dealt with a lot of evictions with low-income tenants where they have had legal aid get involved and it has always been a massive headache. There really should be a free law organization that helps out landlords with evicting problem tenants.