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    The Wisconsin Supreme Court has scheduled a public hearing for Nov. 16, 2004 regarding the Office of Lawyer Regulation petition to amend rules relating to the lawyer regulation system.
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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 77, No. 10, October 2004

    Supreme Court Orders

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court has scheduled a public hearing for Nov. 16, 2004 regarding the Office of Lawyer Regulation petition to amend rules relating to the lawyer regulation system.

    Lawyer Regulatory System

    In the matter of the Petition for Amendment to Supreme Court Chapter 22 - Procedures for the Lawyer Regulatory System

    Order 04-06

    On June 17, 2004, the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) filed a petition seeking to amend Supreme Court Rules 22.11, 22.20, and 22.21 relating to procedures for the lawyer regulation system.

    IT IS ORDERED that a public hearing on the petition shall be held in the Supreme Court Room in the State Capitol, Madison, Wis., on Nov. 16, 2004, at 9:30 a.m.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the court's conference in the matter shall be held promptly following the public hearing.

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that notice of the hearing be given by a single publication of a copy of this order and of the petition in the official state newspaper and in an official publication of the State Bar of Wisconsin not more than 60 days nor less than 30 days before the date of the hearing.

    Dated at Madison, Wis., this 8th day of September, 2004.

    By the court:

    Cornelia G. Clark
    Clerk of Supreme Court

    Petition

    The Petitioner, Keith L. Sellen, Director of the Office of Lawyer Regulation, hereby petitions the Supreme Court of Wisconsin for an order that amends Rules 22.11, 22.20, and 22.21 of the Supreme Court Rules (SCR) relating to the Lawyer Regulation System as follows.

    PROPOSED AMENDMENTS

    SCR 22.11 Initiation of Proceeding.

    Amend subparagraph (2) to read as follows:

    The complaint shall set forth only those facts and misconduct allegations for which the preliminary review panel determined there was cause to proceed and may set forth the discipline or other disposition sought. Facts and misconduct allegations arising under SCR 22.20 and SCR 22.22 may be set forth in a complaint without a preliminary review panel finding of cause to proceed.

    SCR 22.20 Summary license suspension on criminal conviction.

    Create subparagraph (6) to read as follows:

    Filing of Complaint. The director, or special investigator acting under SCR 22.25, shall file the complaint in the disciplinary proceeding within three months of the effective date of the summary suspension, or shall show cause why the summary suspension should continue. The respondent attorney may file a response with the supreme court within 10 days of service. Reinstatement pursuant to this section shall not terminate any misconduct investigation or disciplinary proceeding pending against the attorney.

    Create subparagraph (7) to read as follows:

    Filing of Referee Report. The referee appointed to conduct a hearing on the complaint shall conduct the hearing in a prompt manner and file the report required by SCR 22.16 no later than six months after the filing of the complaint. In the event the report is not filed within six months of the filing of the complaint, the respondent attorney may move the supreme court for reinstatement pending completion of the disciplinary proceeding. Reinstatement pursuant to this section shall not terminate any misconduct investigation or disciplinary proceeding pending against the attorney.

    SCR 22.21 Temporary Suspension.

    Create subparagraph (3) to read as follows:

    Filing of Complaint. The director, or special investigator acting under SCR 22.25, shall file the complaint in the disciplinary proceeding within six months of the effective date of the temporary suspension imposed under this rule, or shall show cause why the temporary suspension should continue. The respondent attorney may file a response with the supreme court within 10 days of service. Reinstatement pursuant to this section shall not terminate any misconduct investigation or disciplinary proceeding pending against the attorney.

    Create subparagraph (4) to read as follows:

    Filing of Referee Report. The referee appointed to conduct a hearing on the complaint shall conduct the hearing in a prompt manner and file the report required by SCR 22.16 no later than six months after the filing of the complaint. In the event the report is not filed within six months of the filing of the complaint, the respondent attorney may move the supreme court for reinstatement pending completion of the disciplinary proceeding. Reinstatement pursuant to this section shall not terminate any misconduct investigation or disciplinary proceeding pending against the attorney.

    Justification

    Interim suspensions protect the public, but must also respect due process rights of respondent attorneys for a prompt disposition of the pending matter. To that end, the petitioner proposes time limits for filing a formal complaint and for filing the referee's report in situations where an attorney's license is suspended summarily based upon a criminal conviction, or suspended temporarily in the interests of the public and the administration of justice. The petitioner also proposes a procedure for the supreme court to reinstate the license when the complaint or report in the underlying matter is not filed within a prescribed time.

    Finally, the petitioner proposes an amendment to SCR 22.11 to allow the director or special investigator to file a complaint based upon the conviction of a crime without review by a preliminary review panel, but only in cases where the supreme court has already reviewed the matter and ordered a summary suspension. Because the proof of guilt is clear, and because the supreme court has reviewed the matter before ordering a summary suspension, a panel review is not necessary to establish cause to proceed. The amendment would enable complaints in summary suspension cases to be filed more promptly, which serves the interests of the public and respondent attorney.

    Keith L. Sellen, Director
    Office of Lawyer Regulation




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