June 27, 2011
No Unanimity In Wisconsin
With the usual 4-3 split, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ordered a public reprimand of an attorney for misconduct in a domestic relations matter.
The attorney made a misrepresentation regarding service on the opposing party and admitted that she had "cut corners" in the case. The court majority noted that the misconduct involved a single, contentious matter and that the attorney had an excellent reputation. Nonetheless
Courts are entitled to expect strict compliance with an attorney's fundamental duty to adhere to the truth. Cutting corners in this instance was not only a disservice to her client but damaged the legal profession as well. We determine Attorney...should be publicly reprimanded for her professional misconduct. We conclude she should be required to pay the full costs of this disciplinary proceeding, which were $2,728.53 as of March 22, 2011. No restitution was sought and none is ordered in this proceeding.
The dissenters would order briefs on discipline and restitution.
Let's keep an eye out for the split the next time the court has a bar discipline case involving domestic violence. (Mike Frisch)
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