Vol. 77, No. 9, September
Supreme Court Orders
Following a public hearing, the Wisconsin Supreme Court adopted the
petition by the State Bar to amend rules concerning the Clients'
Security Fund and petitions for reinstatement. The amendments are
effective on Jan. 1, 2005.
Clients' Security Fund, Petitions for
In the matter of the Amendment of Supreme Court Rules 12.04
and 12.05 - Clients' Security Fund and Supreme Court Rule 22.20 -
Petitions for Reinstatement.
On April 21, 2004, the court held a public hearing on the petition
filed Jan. 21, 2004, by the Board of Governors for the State Bar of
Wisconsin, seeking to amend Supreme Court Rules 12.04, 12.05, and 22.29,
so as to rename the Clients' Security Fund the Wisconsin Lawyers' Fund
for Client Protection, and to amend and clarify the requirements for
petitions for reinstatement. At the ensuing open administrative
conference the court unanimously adopted the petition.
IT IS ORDERED that, effective Jan. 1, 2005, Supreme Court Rule
Chapters 12 and 22 are amended as follows:
Section 1. 12.04 (title) and (1) of the supreme
court rules are amended to read:
Clients' security fund Wisconsin
Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection: creation and purpose;
clients' security fund
Wisconsin Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection of the state bar of
Wisconsin is created to reimburse, to the extent and in the manner
provided by this chapter, losses caused by the dishonest conduct of
members of the state bar of Wisconsin.
Comment: The Wisconsin Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection
was established in 1981 and was originally entitled The Clients'
Security Fund. The name change reflects amendments to the ABA Model
Rules for Lawyer's Funds for Client Protection, and is more descriptive
of the funds' purpose.
Section 2. 12.04 (2) (intro.), (d) and (f) of the
supreme court rules are amended to read:
12.04 (2) (intro.) In
ss. 12.04 to 12.11:
(d) "Committee" means the
clients' security fund
Wisconsin lawyers' fund for client protection committee.
(f) "Fund" means the
clients' security fund
Wisconsin lawyers' fund for client protection of the state bar of
Section 3. 12.05(1) of the supreme
court rules is amended to read:
12.05(1) The fund shall be operated and administered
by the committee of the state bar to be known as the
clients'security fund Wisconsin lawyers' fund for
client protection committee. The committee shall consist of 5
lawyers and 2 nonlawyer members who are appointed by the president of
the state bar. The initial terms of the members are: one lawyer to serve
until July 1, 1982; one lawyer to serve until July 1, 1983; one lawyer
and one nonlawyer member to serve until July 1, 1984; one lawyer to
serve until July 1, 1985; one lawyer and one nonlawyer member to serve
until July 1, 1986. Upon the expiration of the initial appointments,
each subsequent appointment shall be for a term of 5 years. No person
who has served a full term of 5 years shall be eligible for
reappointment until one year after the termination of his or her last
term. A vacancy on the committee shall be filled by appointment by the
president of the state bar for the unexpired term.
Section 4. 22.29(4)(m) of the supreme court rules is
amended to read:
22.29 (4) (m) The petitioner has made restitution to
or settled all claims of persons injured or harmed by petitioner's
misconduct, including reimbursement to the Wisconsin lawyers' fund
for client protection for all payments made from that fund,
or, if not, the petitioner's explanation of the failure or
inability to do so.
Comment: An attorney seeking reinstatement of a suspended or
revoked license is required to reimburse the Fund for any payments made
to injured clients as a result of the attorney's conduct, or to explain
why this is not possible. Fund payment to a client signifies that the
lawyer's dishonest conduct caused a loss that was restored through an
assessment against all members of the bar. The attorney responsible
should be required to reimburse the Fund before resuming practice. In
cases where the attorney demonstrates that he or she cannot make full
restitution to injured clients and to the Fund, the Fund will defer its
right to reimbursement until the clients have been made whole.
IT IS ORDERED that notice of this amendment of SCR 12.04, 12.05, and
22.29 be given by a single publication of a copy of this order in the
official state newspaper and in an official publication of the State Bar
Dated at Madison, Wis., this 11th day of August, 2004.
By the court:
Christopher J. Paulsen, Chief Deputy Clerk of Supreme Court