Vol. 79, No. 9, September
of Lawyer Regulation (formerly known as the Board of Attorneys
Responsibility), an agency of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and
of the lawyer regulation system, assists the court in carrying out
constitutional responsibility to supervise the practice of law and
the public from misconduct by persons practicing law in Wisconsin.
Office of Lawyer Regulation has offices located at Suite 315, 110 E.
St., Madison, WI 53703.
Public Reprimand of Lori Schmitz
The Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) and Lori Schmitz, 33,
Milwaukee, agreed to the imposition of a public reprimand
pursuant to SCR 22.09(1). A referee appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme
Court thereafter approved the agreement and issued the
public reprimand on July 6, 2006, in accordance with SCR 22.09(3).
Schmitz was subpoenaed to testify at a John Doe proceeding regarding
an incident in which she was a passenger in a
vehicle involved in a high speed chase with police. At the conclusion
of the chase, Schmitz remained in the vehicle and the driver
jumped into the Milwaukee River and escaped. At the time of the police
stop, Schmitz did not identify the driver.
At the John Doe hearing, although Schmitz was granted immunity from
prosecution, she declined to answer questions about
the incident, including the identity of the driver. The presiding
judge ordered Schmitz to answer the question regarding the
driver's identity, but Schmitz refused to do so, and the court ordered
her jailed until she answered. When the John Doe
proceeding reconvened the next day, Schmitz appeared and identified a
former boyfriend as the driver. Schmitz was then asked questions
about the identity of other persons present with her before the high
speed chase, at which point Schmitz became argumentative and
used profane language, even after the court ordered her to answer.
Schmitz ultimately answered and was released from custody.
By initially failing to answer the question regarding the driver's
identity after being ordered to answer, and by arguing with
the court and using profane language in connection with further
questioning, Schmitz knowingly disobeyed an obligation under the
rules of a tribunal, in violation of SCR 20:3.4(c). She also failed to
maintain respect due to courts and judicial officers, contrary to
SCR 20:8.4(g) and 40.15.
Two months after the John Doe proceeding, Schmitz was subpoenaed to
appear as a witness at the preliminary hearing in
the criminal case brought against the driver. Schmitz did not appear
(later citing asserted health concerns that were not relayed to
the presiding court commissioner at the time of the preliminary
hearing), and a body attachment was issued for her arrest. Schmitz
was arrested pursuant to the body attachment, and she appeared in
custody and testified at the adjourned preliminary hearing.
Schmitz's failure to appear pursuant to the subpoena constituted a
further violation of SCR 20:3.4(c) and 40.15.
Schmitz had no prior discipline.
Public Reprimand of Guy W. Fredel
The OLR and Guy W. Fredel, 54, Mosinee, agreed to an imposition of a
public reprimand pursuant to SCR 22.09(1). A
referee appointed by the supreme court thereafter approved the
agreement and issued the public reprimand on July 18, 2006, in
accordance with SCR 22.09(3).
A woman retained Fredel to represent her in a divorce action. The
client hired Fredel in part to complete a qualified
domestic relations order (QDRO) for her during post-divorce
proceedings, so that she would receive a portion of her ex-husband's
pension fund. She also hired Fredel to handle a foreclosure action on
Fredel prepared a draft QDRO on Feb. 3, 2003. Fredel did nothing
more on the QDRO until February 2005. Fredel filed
the QDRO on Feb. 23, 2005, after notice from the pension provider that
the client's share of the pension would not be held
after March 31, 2005. The funds were disbursed to the client in July
On Feb. 4, 2003, Fredel filed an answer in the foreclosure action.
On Feb. 13, 2004, the plaintiff's counsel sent
interrogatories and requests for production of documents to Fredel.
Though the responses were due by March 20, 2004, Fredel did not send
these discovery requests to the client until March 19, 2004. Because
the client was away on vacation from March 17-27, 2004, she did
not receive the package from Fredel until after she returned. The
client and Fredel did not complete the responses and Fredel did
not request an extension of time in which to respond to the requests.
On July 16, 2004, the plaintiff in the foreclosure action filed a
motion for summary judgment. Fredel did not send the motion
to the client or inform her of it. Fredel did not respond to the
plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. On Aug. 19, 2004, the
court issued an order granting the plaintiff's motion, and judgment
was entered against Fredel's client. Fredel never informed the
client of the summary judgment. The client first learned judgment had
been entered against her after she discovered a public notice
of foreclosure sale in February 2005. The client filed a motion for an
emergency stay. The court granted the emergency stay
and granted the client a full six-month redemption period.
By failing to file the QDRO until two years after he was retained,
Fredel violated SCR 20:1.3. By failing to timely provide
the client with the adverse party's discovery requests and,
thereafter, failing to provide the adverse party with responses to the
requests, Fredel violated SCR 20:3.4(d). By failing to file a response
to the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, Fredel violated
SCR 20:1.3. By failing to inform the client of the summary judgment
motion and its implications, and by failing to inform the client
of the court's entry of summary judgment and its significance, Fredel
violated SCR 20:1.4(a) and 20:1.4(b).
Fredel received a private reprimand in 1995 for violating SCR 20:1.3
in a situation involving a lack of diligence in representing
a client in a probate matter.
Public Reprimand of Michael G. Trewin
The supreme court suspended Michael G. Trewin's law license for five
months, effective Aug. 31, 2004, and ordered him to
comply with the requirements of SCR 22.26. Trewin signed an affidavit
required by SCR 22.26(1), (3) that stated:
"That I have complied with all of the provisions of SCR 22.26,
as I have notified all clients that my license to practice law
has been suspended, and have informed the courts in which I previously
had pending matters of the suspension."
The affidavit also stated "That the following is a list of all
pending matters, prior to August 31, 2004, that I was involved in:"
and listed matters involving several clients. Later, Trewin filed an
affidavit in which he stated that he mistakenly omitted five cases
from his prior affidavit. The affidavit listed those five cases.
Trewin failed to notify the court and opposing counsel of his
suspension before the effective date of his suspension in
several cases. Investigation further revealed that Trewin failed to
notify the court in three additional cases of his suspension before
its effective date.
Trewin represented F&M Bank in F&M Bank v.
Vaughan (Waupaca County Case # 2004CV000229). He also represented
the petitioners in a bankruptcy proceeding (In Re
Groshek, Bankruptcy Case #1-04-11858 W.D. Wis.). F&M Bank
was a creditor of
the bankruptcy petitioners; its interest in the bankruptcy was adverse
to that of the petitioners. Trewin simultaneously represented
both parties from June 14, 2004, to at least Aug. 30, 2004.
By failing to list all matters pending before any court in his
affidavit of Sept. 22, 2004, Trewin violated SCR 20:8.4(f)
and 22.26(1)(e)(iii). By failing to notify the court and attorneys for
other parties in writing on or before the suspension effective
date concerning his inability to act as an attorney after the
effective date, Trewin violated SCR 20:8.4(f) and 22.26(1)(c). By
representing clients with adverse interests, Trewin violated SCR
In July 2004, Trewin's law license was suspended for five months.
Disciplinary Proceedings Against Trewin, 2004 WI 116.
Public Reprimand of Richard W. Voss
The OLR and Richard W. Voss, Rhinelander, entered into an agreement
for imposition of a public reprimand, pursuant to
SCR 22.09(1). A referee appointed by the supreme court thereafter
approved the agreement, and issued the public reprimand on July
9, 2006, in accordance with SCR 22.09(3). The public reprimand stemmed
from two matters investigated by the OLR.
In the first matter, Voss represented a client on claims against a
contractor, who did business under two company names, and
the contractor's insurer. The claims proceeded to litigation. Voss
represented the client pursuant to a contingent fee agreement that
was not reduced to writing, contrary to SCR 20:1.5(c). The client
advanced funds for payment of costs, which Voss said were run
through his trust account, but Voss could produce no trust account
records related to those funds, in violation of former SCR
20:1.15(c)(5)(e) (effective through June 30, 2004) and current SCR
20:1.15(e)(6). Voss did not respond to written OLR inquiries concerning
the trust account records until he was personally served, in violation
of SCR 22.03(6) and 20:8.4(f).
Voss failed to take steps in the litigation to personally link the
contractor to the alleged defective construction at the
client's home, contrary to SCR 20:1.1. In violation of SCR 20:1.3,
Voss arrived late for a hearing on a motion to dismiss the contractor,
and when the court nonetheless allowed him to be heard on the motion,
Voss presented no evidence to support his opposition to
the motion. In violation of SCR 20:1.4(a), Voss did not inform his
client of the motion to dismiss, the motion hearing, or the
dismissal of the contractor from the suit. Voss again violated SCR
20:1.4(a) when he failed to inform the client of the court's granting of
a motion to dismiss the insurer and the dismissal of the suit. After
the client learned of the dismissal of the suit from a source
other than Voss, the client and then successor counsel requested the
case file. Voss did not timely address the request for the
complete case file, in violation of SCR 20:1.16(d).
The second matter stemmed from an overdraft on Voss's trust account
that occurred when a check deposited in the trust
account was returned by the maker's bank because of a missing
endorsement. The OLR's investigation of the overdraft uncovered
several record keeping and other deficiencies related to the trust
account, which provided evidence of violations of SCR
20:1.15(e)(4)a., 20:1.15(f)(1)a., 20:1.15(f)(1)b., former and current
20:1.15(c)(1), 13.04, and 20:8.4(f).
Voss received a private reprimand in December 2004 for violations of
SCR 20:1.1 and 20:1.4(a) that occurred in the course
of representing a plaintiff in a lawsuit.
Disciplinary Proceedings against Joseph L. Young
In a July 27, 2006 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court publicly
reprimanded Joseph L. Young, Vesper. Disciplinary Proceedings
Against Young, 2006 WI 109.
Young failed to file state income tax returns for the years 1996
through 2003, thereby violating a supreme court
decision regulating the conduct of lawyers, contrary to SCR 20:8.4(f).
See, e.g., Disciplinary Proceedings Against
Owens, 172 Wis. 2d 54, 56-57, 492 N.W.2d 157 (1992) (failure to
file income tax returns constitutes professional misconduct). Young
failed to respond to
the OLR's investigative requests, in violation of SCR 22.03(2),
22.03(6), and 20:8.4(f).
In the disciplinary action, Young and the OLR stipulated as to the
misconduct findings and to the appropriateness of discipline
at the public reprimand level. The OLR did not request the imposition
of costs, and none were imposed against Young. In addition
to imposing the public reprimand, the court ordered Young to file
written quarterly reports with the OLR that describe his efforts
and progress in filing the delinquent tax returns and paying the
appropriate taxes. Young is to file the quarterly reports until he
certifies to the OLR that he has either filed all of the required tax
returns or entered into an agreement with the Wisconsin Department
of Revenue that resolves all tax filing and tax payment issues. The
court stated that Young's failure to comply with this condition or
to make reasonable progress toward resolving his tax delinquencies may
provide the basis for the imposition of further discipline.
Young had no prior discipline.
Disciplinary Proceedings against Arthur L. Schuh
In an order dated July 27, 2006, the supreme court summarily
suspended the law license of Arthur L. Schuh, effective the date
of the order and pending final disposition of a disciplinary
proceeding or until further order of the court, following Schuh's
plea to felony charges of distributing a controlled substance and
possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Supreme Court Case No.