Monday, August 20, 2012
The Wisconsin Supreme Court (without dissent) accepted the license revocation of an attorney.
The attorney had a record of prior discipline. The court quoted the referee:
This referee is troubled by Stokes' willingness to lie, forge signatures, and fraudulently bill the SPD in furtherance of his own personal goals. He lied to a sitting court in the midst of a John Doe investigation. He lied to the [State Public Defender] in order to line his pockets with extra, unearned cash. He forged client signatures on documents he later filed with the Western District of Wisconsin Bankruptcy Court. Equally disturbing are the allegations that his filings were filled with mistakes, and that the court personnel could not decipher the filings, or process his client's cases appropriately.
. . . To consider anything less than a revocation of his license to practice law would unduly depreciate the seriousness of his misconduct and fail to deter others from engaging in similar conduct.
The court declined to order restitution:
With respect to the remaining questions regarding restitution, we decline to hold the matter of restitution open with respect to the bankruptcy cases, and we decline to grant the OLR's belated request to order Attorney Stokes to pay $200 in restitution to S.M. Finally, we further determine that Attorney Stokes should be required to pay the full costs of this proceeding.
The attorney accepted the proposed result of the referee. (Mike Frisch)