Wednesday, June 15, 2011
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has reinstated an attorney with a disciplinary history that includes a six-month suspension (for sex with a client and with a juvenile client's mother) and an eighteen-month suspension. The Office of Lawyer Regulation had concerns about reinstatement, but the court concluded:
The court has carefully evaluated whether Attorney...has indeed met the requirements for reinstatement of his license to practice law in Wisconsin. We remain troubled by the very serious misconduct he committed and its impact on some vulnerable clients. Attorney...has been suspended twice and publicly reprimanded once in the last five years. His misconduct has included misrepresentation, improper sexual relationships with female clients in vulnerable personal situations, failure to act with reasonable diligence, failure to immediately refund unearned fees, contacting a client after receiving notice successor counsel had been retained, and a trust account violation. However, the referee was persuaded that Attorney... has met the requirements for reinstatement and we defer to a referee's credibility determinations. Therefore, upon careful consideration of the entire record, we agree that Attorney...has met his burden of proof with respect to the elements necessary to justify reinstatement.
The court did say that it expects exemplary behavior from the attorney in the future. (Mike Frisch)