Friday, December 27, 2013

Excuses Aggravate Misconduct

The Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected a proposed suspension of four months and imposed a six-month sit down of an attorney in light of her prior discipline and pattern of excuses rather than acknowledgement of misconduct.

The court listed the excuses for misconduct in the representation of client C.M.

·         C.M. wrote and called her too frequently.

·         Telephone calls from prisons are not clearly identified on telephone systems.

·         She was out of the office or busy when C.M. called. 

·         Her failure to respond to C.M.'s communications was reasonable given that there was no ongoing activity in his case at that time.

·         C.M. could relay messages to her through his family and friends.

·         Written communications to a client in the federal prison system are risky because other inmates may steal them.

·         Keeping memos or notes of her communications with clients is dangerous for her clients.

·         Setting up telephone conferences through the prison system is difficult.

·         She is too busy to document all communications with clients.

·         She could not send C.M. his file because it was too large to transmit to the prison.

·         The precise nature of services to be rendered in criminal matters is difficult to state in writing at the commencement of representation.

·         She was unaware and therefore did not inform C.M. of the district court's denial of relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 because of the "unique nature" of the federal court's electronic filing system.

(Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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