Vol. 81, No. 8, August
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 proceeding against Leroy Jones
On June 3, 2008, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended the law
license of Leroy Jones,
80, Milwaukee, for four months, effective July 7, 2008. In addition, the
court ordered that
Jones pay restitution in the form of interest to one client and pay the
cost of the
disciplinary proceeding. Disciplinary Proceedings Against
Jones, 2008 WI 53.
The suspension is based on Jones' misconduct in five matters. In
the first matter, a
client hired Jones to probate her mother's estate and to represent her
in a guardianship matter.
Jones failed to timely file an estate inventory, failed to appear at an
hearing, and failed to appear at two guardianship hearings, all in
violation of SCR 20:1.3. Jones
failed to inform the client that he had not timely filed an estate
inventory and that an
order-to-show-cause hearing had been scheduled but that no one had
appeared on her behalf at the
hearing, in violation of former SCR 20:1.4(a). In violation of former
SCR 20:1.16(d), Jones
failed to timely refund any portion of the flat fee paid to him by the
client despite the fact that
he did not complete the representation. Finally, Jones failed to
cooperate with the Office
of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) district committee's investigation of this
leading to the temporary suspension of his license, in violation of SCR
21.15(4) and 22.03(6).
In the second matter, a client hired Jones to represent her as
the defendant in a
personal injury case. Jones failed to take appropriate action in
defending the client, including but
not limited to failing to attend the plaintiff's deposition, in
violation of SCR 20:1.3.
Jones failed to inform the client of an upcoming mediation and its
meaning, in violation of
SCR 20:1.4(b). Jones also failed to inform the client of a settlement
offer before accepting
the offer, in violation of SCR 20:1.2(d). Finally, Jones made a
misrepresentation to the
client concerning action taken by the mediator, in violation of SCR
A third client hired Jones to represent him in a child support
matter. While no
misconduct was found with regard to the representation, Jones failed to
cooperate with the OLR's
investigation of the matter in violation of 22.03(2).
In the fourth matter, a client hired Jones to represent her in a
small claims case. While
no misconduct was found with regard to the representation, Jones failed
to cooperate with the
OLR district committee's investigation of the matter, in violation of
SCR 21.14(5), 22.03(6),
In the fifth matter, Jones failed to timely notify his client
and the courts,
administrative agencies, and attorney for each party in a pending matter
of his temporary suspension on
or before the effective date of the suspension, in violation of SCR
22.26(1)(a) and (c).
Jones also failed to timely file a compliance affidavit, in violation of
As a condition of Jones' reinstatement, he must demonstrate that
he has procedures in
place to carry out his stated intention to limit his areas of practice.
Jones has a lengthy disciplinary history. He was publicly
reprimanded on July 2, 1984,
June 26, 1990, May 30, 1991, Feb. 4, 1998, and Feb. 19, 2004. His
license was suspended for 60
days effective May 6, 1991. In 1992, his license was again suspended for
60 days, retroactive to
May 6, 1991. A third 60-day suspension was effective June 21, 1993.
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Medical incapacity of Michael C. Hurt
On June 11, 2008, the Wisconsin Supreme Court adopted a stipulation
between the OLR and
the attorney-in-fact for Michael C. Hurt, 64, DuPont, Wash., formerly of
Menomonee Falls, and
indefinitely suspended Hurt's law license because of medical incapacity.
The court, acting
pursuant to SCR 22.34, found that Hurt currently suffers from a medical
substantially prevents him from performing the duties of an attorney.
Hurt's law license has been suspended since 2007 for nonpayment
of State Bar dues.
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Reinstatement of Hazel J. Washington
On June 20, 2008, the Wisconsin Supreme Court reinstated the law
license of Hazel J.
Washington. Disciplinary Proceedings Against
Washington, 2008 WI 66.
The court had suspended Washington's law license for 18 months,
retroactive to Feb. 3,
2006 (the date that a summary suspension took effect), based on
Washington's conviction on
federal tax evasion charges. Six witnesses testified on Washington's
behalf at the reinstatement
hearing before a referee appointed by the court. Although the referee
acknowledged that there
were some issues with regard to Washington's reinstatement, including a
failure to notify two
clients of her suspension, a failure to list those clients on an
affidavit submitted to the
OLR, and some technical misstatements on her reinstatement
questionnaire, the referee found
that Washington had expressed genuine remorse for her wrongdoing and
that the issues were not
serious enough to prevent Washington from resuming the practice of law.
The court adopted the
Another issue of concern was Washington's failure to fully
comply with trust
account recordkeeping requirements. The court found that this problem
did not require the denial
of Washington's reinstatement petition, but the court conditioned
Washington providing full trust account records for the OLR's review on
a quarterly basis for two
years. Washington also was ordered to pay the full cost of the
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