June 8, 2011
Progressive Penalties In Successive Misconduct Cases
An attorney who had a significant record of prior discipline had his license revoked by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The court affirmed findings of 17 ethical violations. The attorney had finally run out of second chances:
Attorney...'s professional misconduct requires the severest level of discipline that we impose, namely, the revocation of his license to practice law in Wisconsin. Attorney...has repeatedly failed to diligently pursue his clients' cases, failed to keep clients informed, and ignored their repeated requests for information on their cases. Attorney...'s misconduct is aggravated by a number of factors. He has previously been disciplined. He has an established pattern of allowing his clients to believe he was pursuing claims on their behalf, when, in fact, he failed to work on their claims. He has committed multiple violations of supreme court rules and has repeatedly failed to cooperate with OLR in its investigations.
In considering the appropriate sanction we are mindful that we follow a practice of applying progressive penalties in successive misconduct cases. In Attorney...'s most recent disciplinary matters the OLR sought revocation but Attorney...obtained a lengthy suspension instead. No additional leniency is warranted now. Revocation is appropriate and we deny Attorney...'s request that we impose that revocation retroactive to an earlier date. We further determine that Attorney...should be required to pay the full costs of this matter.
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