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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 77, No. 10, October 2004

    Lawyer Discipline

    The Office of Lawyer Regulation (formerly known as the Board of Attorneys Professional Responsibility), an agency of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and component of the lawyer regulation system, assists the court in carrying out its constitutional responsibility to supervise the practice of law and protect the public from misconduct by persons practicing law in Wisconsin. The Office of Lawyer Regulation has offices located at Suite 315, 110 E. Main St., Madison, WI 53703, and Suite 300, 342 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202. Toll-free telephone: (877) 315-6941.

    Disciplinary Proceedings against Paul A. Henningsen

    On Aug. 24, 2004, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended the law license of Paul A. Henningsen, Milwaukee, for two years, based on his conviction for mail fraud. In June 2003, a federal court jury found Henningsen guilty of four counts of mail fraud. The jury found that Henningsen converted to his personal use approximately $30,000 in campaign funds contributed to him while he was serving as an alderman for the city of Milwaukee.

    The supreme court approved an SCR 22.12 stipulation between Henningsen and the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR), which specified that Henningsen violated SCR 20:8.4(b) by committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects. Pursuant to the stipulation, the court made the suspension retroactive to March 2, 2004, the date Henningsen's law license was summarily suspended for the same misconduct. Disciplinary Proceedings against Henningsen, 2004 WI 119.

    Disciplinary Proceeding against Kate A. Christnot

    In a decision filed on Aug. 27, 2004, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended the law license of Kate A. Christnot, Washington, D.C., formerly of Green Bay, for six months, retroactive to March 13, 2003, the date on which her license had been temporarily suspended for failing to cooperate with the OLR's investigation. Christnot also was ordered to pay $699.75 restitution to one client and the costs of the proceeding to the OLR. Disciplinary Proceedings against Christnot, 2004 WI 120.

    The suspension arose from two grievances. In one matter, Christnot represented a divorce client who was awarded a one-half interest in his ex-wife's retirement plan. Christnot failed to prepare a QDRO for the client, and she also failed to refund the unearned portion of the retainer. Over a two-year period following the divorce, Christnot failed to respond to the client's numerous attempts to communicate with her. After the client filed a grievance, Christnot failed to respond to the OLR's requests for information, and the court temporarily suspended her license. The suspension continued as Christnot continued to be nonresponsive to the OLR's requests for information.

    In failing to timely prepare a QDRO, Christnot violated SCR 20:1.3; in failing to respond to the client's contacts, Christnot violated SCR 20:1.4(a); in failing to refund the unearned portion of the retainer, Christnot violated SCR 20:1.16(d); and in failing to cooperate with the OLR, Christnot violated SCR 21.15(4), 22.03(2), and 22.04(1).

    In an unrelated grievance, the court found that Christnot again failed to cooperate with an OLR investigation, in violation of SCR 21.15(4), 22.03(2), and 22.04(1).

    Disciplinary Proceeding against Larry Rader

    During the course of an attorney disciplinary proceeding filed in February 2003 against Larry Rader, Wausau, Rader claimed a medical incapacity that made his defense of the disciplinary proceeding impossible. On June 11, 2004, the assigned referee filed a report and recommendation advising the Wisconsin Supreme Court of his determination, based on a stipulation and following a hearing in the matter, that Rader is medically incapacitated. The court ordered Rader to show cause why his license should not be suspended. Rader did not respond, whereupon the court temporarily suspended Rader's law license, effective Aug. 24, 2004. Pursuant to SCR 22.16(4), should Rader's law license ever be reinstated, the underlying disciplinary action will continue.

    Summary Suspension of Milton D. Schierland

    By order dated Aug. 2, 2004, the Wisconsin Supreme Court summarily suspended the law license of Milton D. Schierland, effective immediately. The suspension was pursuant to SCR 22.20(1) and based on Schierland's guilty plea to filing a false tax return in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1).

    Disciplinary Proceedings against James A. Maloney

    On Sept. 1, 2004, the Wisconsin Supreme Court revoked the Wisconsin law license of James A. Maloney. Disciplinary Proceedings against Maloney, 2004 WI 122. Maloney had been admitted to practice law in Wisconsin and in Illinois in 1992, and his office and home were in Loves Park, Ill.

    On July 6, 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court struck Maloney's name from the Illinois Roll of Attorneys based on Maloney's disbarment by consent. The Illinois disbarment resulted from misconduct involving the conversion of approximately $39,000 in client funds; neglect of various client matters, which included, in one instance, the submission to the client of a fraudulent court order to conceal his inaction; failure to refund $500 in unearned fees to a client; and a conflict of interest with a client with whom he used cocaine and engaged in a sexual relationship.

    The Wisconsin revocation occurred when Maloney petitioned the Wisconsin Supreme Court for the revocation of his Wisconsin law license during a reciprocal discipline action initiated by the OLR, which also included an allegation that Maloney violated SCR 22.22(1) by failing to promptly notify the OLR of his Illinois disbarment.

    Wisconsin Lawyer