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    Vol. 79, No. 3, March 2006

    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.

    Disciplinary proceedings against Jeffrey A. Kingsley

    On Jan. 13, 2006, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended the law license of Jeffrey A. Kingsley, 42, Wisconsin Rapids, for 60 days, for professional misconduct. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Kingsley, 2006 WI 5. The suspension comported with the referee's recommendation in the matter and followed a stipulation entered into by Kingsley and the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR), which prosecuted the case. The court also ordered Kingsley to pay the $486.10 cost of the disciplinary proceeding and to pay $2,000 (plus interest) in restitution to the Wisconsin Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection, which had paid that amount to a former client harmed by Kingsley's misconduct. Kingsley's law license had been temporarily suspended since March 23, 2004, for his failure to cooperate with the OLR's investigation, and administratively suspended since June 7, 2004, as a result of his noncompliance with continuing legal education reporting requirements.

    A client advanced $3,000 to Kingsley in early 2003 for representation on potential claims against a county and certain law enforcement officers. Shortly thereafter, Kingsley returned $1,000 of the advance to the client. Kingsley failed to prepare and file two lawsuits as promised, contrary to SCR 20:1.3. Kingsley violated SCR 20:1.4(a) by failing to respond to the client's telephone calls and correspondence. In violation of former SCR 20:1.15(a) (effective through June 30, 2004), Kingsley failed to hold the funds advanced by the client in a client trust account. On termination of the representation, Kingsley failed to return the unearned retainer to the client, in violation of SCR 20:1.16(d). Kingsley did not cooperate with the OLR investigation into the client's allegations, failing to respond to multiple investigative letters, contrary to SCR 21.15(4), 22.03(2), and 22.03(6), each of which is enforceable under the Rules of Professional Conduct via SCR 20:8.4(f). Kingsley failed to notify the client of the temporary suspension of his law license and failed to advise her to therefore seek other counsel, contrary to SCR 22.26(1)(a) and (b) and SCR 20:8.4(f).

    Kingsley had no prior discipline.

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    Disciplinary proceedings against Brian B. Burke

    On Jan. 3, 2006, the Wisconsin Supreme Court summarily suspended Brian B. Burke's law license, as of that date and until reinstated by the court. Case No. 2005XX21704-D. Burke, a former state senator from Milwaukee, had stipulated to the summary suspension.

    The OLR had sought the summary suspension, pursuant to SCR 22.20, following Burke's conviction in state court for misconduct in office, relating to his use of state employees to work on his campaign for the 2002 Wisconsin attorney general election and to obstruction of an officer during the state's investigation.

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    Disciplinary proceedings against Hazel J. Washington

    On Jan. 26, 2006, the Wisconsin Supreme Court summarily suspended the law license of Hazel J. Washington, as of that date and until reinstated by the court, following Washington's 2005 felony conviction on one count of willfully attempting to evade federal income tax obligations. Case No. 2005XX21809-D.

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    Disciplinary proceedings against Eric L. Crandall

    On Jan. 20, 2006, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended the Wisconsin law license of Eric L. Crandall, New Richmond, for three months effective Feb. 20, 2006, as discipline reciprocal to a three-month suspension imposed against Crandall's Minnesota law license by the Minnesota Supreme Court on July 28, 2005.

    The Minnesota suspension resulted from Crandall's neglecting client matters, failing to appear at clients' court hearings, failing to comply with discovery rules, and failing to fully cooperate with the Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. Crandall also failed to notify the OLR of his Minnesota suspension within 20 days of that suspension, contrary to SCR 22.22(1). Disciplinary Proceedings Against Crandall, 2006 WI 6.

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    Reinstatement of Thomas E. Zablocki

    On Jan. 27, 2006, the Wisconsin Supreme Court reinstated the law license of Thomas E. Zablocki, Franklin. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Zablocki, 2006 WI 8.

    Zablocki's license had been suspended since Aug. 10, 1998, in connection with a six-month suspension imposed for professional misconduct involving trust account violations and failing to cooperate with the Board of Attorneys Professional Responsibility's investigation. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Zablocki, 219 Wis. 2d 313, 579 N.W.2d 233 (1998).

    While under suspension, Zablocki received a public reprimand for misconduct that occurred during his representation of spouses in a divorce proceeding. He committed various disciplinary violations, including committing a conflict of interest, failing to refund an unearned portion of a fee, and failing to keep complete trust account records. In re Disciplinary Proceedings Against Zablocki, 2001 WI 115, 247 Wis. 2d 994, 635 N.W.2d 288.

    Before the court reinstated Zablocki's license, the court's presiding referee recommended that Zablocki obtain certification from the Board of Bar Examiners showing that he had completed his CLE requirements and that he provide evidence that he had entered into a plan with the OLR for payment of the costs of his previous public reprimand. Zablocki subsequently filed a response showing he had paid the OLR costs judgment of $6,935.65, and that he had satisfied the requisite CLE requirements.

    The court ordered Zablocki to pay the $5,137.85 cost of the reinstatement proceeding to the OLR within 60 days.

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    Disciplinary proceedings against Mark E. Converse

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended the law license of Mark E. Converse, Green Bay, for one year, effective Feb. 23, 2006. Converse also was ordered to pay the $4,056.34 cost of the proceeding. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Converse, 2006 WI 4.

    The misconduct leading to discipline occurred in two separate client matters. In the first matter, Converse agreed to represent a husband and wife on an appeal of an adverse judgment in a breach of contract case. Converse filed a notice of appeal and obtained an extension for filing an appellate brief, but he failed to file the brief or otherwise advance the appeal, which was dismissed. Converse's lack of diligence violated SCR 20:1.3. Converse did not inform his clients of the dismissal, in violation of SCR 20:1.4(a), and in fact represented to the clients that the appeal was still pending, contrary to SCR 20:8.4(c). The clients learned of the appeal dismissal through contact with the circuit court. Converse failed to cooperate in the OLR's investigation in the matter, in violation of SCR 21.15(4), 22.03(2), and 22.03(6).

    In the second matter, Converse was appointed to represent a man in postconviction proceedings, but he never filed a motion for sentence modification or other postconviction relief or otherwise took steps to advance the client's interests, in violation of SCR 20:1.3. Converse ceased communicating with the client, contrary to SCR 20:1.4(a).

    Converse was disciplined on four previous occasions: a 1985 consensual public reprimand; a 1992 public reprimand imposed by the supreme court; a 1994 60-day suspension; and a 2004 90-day suspension.

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    Disciplinary proceedings against Mark A. Phillips

    On Jan. 20, 2006, the Wisconsin Supreme Court entered an order summarily suspending Mark A. Phillips' law license as of that date and until reinstated by the court. Case No. 2005XX21932-D.

    The OLR had sought the summary suspension, pursuant to SCR 22.20, following Phillips' conviction in federal court of attempted income tax evasion.