Vol. 81, No. 2, February
The Office of Lawyer Regulation
(OLR), 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 lawyers. The OLR has offices at
110 E. Main St., Suite 315, Madison, WI 53703; toll-free (877) 315-6941.
The full text of items summarized in this column can be viewed at www.wicourts.gov/olr
Disciplinary proceedings against John E.
In a Dec. 11, 2007 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended
license of John E. Raftery, Random Lake, for six months, effective Jan.
2008. Disciplinary Proceedings against
Raftery, 2007 WI 137.
The misconduct leading to the suspension order occurred in two
employment discrimination matters and in a probate matter. Raftery also
while his license was suspended.
In the first matter, Raftery failed to timely respond to
requests and failed to respond to a summary judgment motion, which led
of the client's claim, in violation of SCR 20:1.3. Raftery also failed
the client informed of the status of her matter, failed to promptly
when the case was dismissed, and failed to inform her of the reason for
dismissal, contrary to former SCR 20:1.4(a). Finally, Raftery failed to
with the Office of Lawyer Regulation's (OLR) investigation of the
grievance and made misrepresentations to the OLR, contrary to SCR
22.03(2) and (6).
In the second employment discrimination matter, Raftery failed
to requests for information from the state Equal Rights Division
his client's complaint, resulting in the initial dismissal of the
in violation of SCR 20:1.3. He also failed to cooperate with the OLR's
investigation of this matter, contrary to SCR 22.03(2) and (6).
The supreme court had temporarily suspended Raftery's law
January 2005 based on his noncooperation in an OLR investigation.
Raftery failed to
wind up his law practice within 15 days of that suspension order, failed
a timely and accurate affidavit required under SCR 22.26, and continued
practice law, contrary to former SCR 20:8.4(f), and 22.26(1) and (2).
also failed to timely conclude the probate of an estate, in violation of
The referee found, and the supreme court agreed, that Raftery's
depression was a mitigating circumstance to be considered in imposing
discipline. The court ordered that on reinstatement, Raftery was to
comply with a plan
for oversight and accountability for two years, including monitoring of
law practice, quarterly reports of compliance to the OLR, and semiannual
reports from a medical provider regarding his ongoing treatment and any
Raftery's prior discipline consisted of a 1998 private reprimand
2001 public reprimand.
Hearing to Reinstate John F. Scanlan
On March 18, 2008, at 10:30 a.m., a public hearing will be held
referee John Decker at the Evansville City Hall, Council Chambers, Third
S. Madison St., Evansville, WI 53536, on the petition of John F.
Chicago, to reinstate his law license. Any interested person may appear
hearing and be heard in support of, or in opposition to, the petition
Scanlan's license was suspended for six months by the Wisconsin
Court on May 5, 2006. Scanlan's suspension was based on multiple counts
misconduct involving nine client matters, including: a failure to
representation; neglect of a client matter; depositing client funds in a
business account; failing to deliver funds held in trust to a client;
keep trust account records; failing to return an unearned fee; making
unidentified and unauthorized transfers from his client trust account;
failing to notify
a client and the court of an administrative license suspension; and
failures to cooperate with the OLR's investigation resulting in a
To be reinstated, Scanlan has the burden to substantiate by
satisfactory, and convincing evidence that: 1) he has the moral
character to practice law
in Wisconsin; 2) his resumption of the practice of law will not be
to the administration of justice or subversive of the public interest;
of his representations in his reinstatement petition are substantiated;
he has complied fully with the terms of the suspension order and with
Relevant information may be provided to or obtained from OLR
investigator Nancy Warner or assistant litigation counsel Julie M. Falk,
110 E. Main
St., Suite 315, Madison, WI 53703; (608) 267-8921, toll-free (877)
Disciplinary proceedings against Susan L.
In a Nov. 14, 2007, decision the supreme court suspended the law
of Susan L. Schuster, Stoughton, for 90 days. Disciplinary
Against Schuster, 2007 WI 131.
Schuster and the OLR stipulated that Schuster submitted bills to
client that repeatedly failed to credit the client with payments
received and, despite the client's numerous attempts to correct the
then sought a judgment against the client in which she misrepresented to
circuit court the amount that was owed. The supreme court concluded that
Schuster's conduct violated SCR 20:8.4(c) and former SCR 20:3.3(a)(1).
Schuster has been the subject of two prior disciplinary orders.
her law license was suspended for 90 days for numerous trust account
violations, improper withdrawal, and false statements to the OLR.
2006, Schuster's law license was suspended for nine months for trust
violations and dishonest conduct. She has not been reinstated.