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    Lawyer Discipline

    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.
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    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 85, No. 8, August 2012

    Public Reprimand of Daniel J. Brink

    The Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) and Daniel J. Brink, Milwaukee, entered into an agreement for the imposition of a public reprimand. A Wisconsin Supreme Court-appointed referee issued the reprimand on May 24, 2012.

    The reprimand concerns Brink's misconduct in three matters.

    First, Brink purchased an interest in a company that he and his firm represented. Brink violated former SCR 20:1.7(b) by representing the company while maintaining an ownership interest in it, when the representation may have been materially limited by his financial interests, and without obtaining written consent. Brink partially reduced the purchase transaction's terms to writing and advised the client to hire another attorney to review the transaction. However, by entering into a business transaction with the company while he represented it, and without obtaining the required written consent, Brink violated former SCR 20:1.8(a).

    Second, Brink assisted a client in purchasing an interest in a company in which he also acquired an interest. Brink eventually began representing the company. Later, he took a majority interest in the company. Brink violated former SCR 20:1.7(b) and current SCR 20:1.7(a) by representing the company while maintaining an ownership interest in it, when his personal interest in the company gave rise to a significant risk that his representation of the company would be materially limited by his personal financial interests, and without obtaining written consent, informed or otherwise. By entering into business transactions with the company while he represented it, and without obtaining written consent to any of the transactions, Brink violated former and current SCR 20:1.8(a).

    In a document proposing the terms of a takeover of the company's assets, Brink stated he had made a $210,000 investment in the company, but he later admitted he did not put $210,000 into the company. Instead, he arranged for another investment of $150,000 and "invested in [the company] by placing his assets on the line to back up [the company's] limited ability to repay the bank" $210,000. By stating he had made a $210,000 investment in the company when he had invested no cash in the company, Brink violated SCR 20:8.4(c).

    Third, Brink had an equity interest in a company for which he performed legal services. By representing the company while maintaining an equity interest in it, and when his personal equity interest in the company gave rise to a significant risk that his representation of the company would be materially limited by his personal financial interests, and without obtaining consent in writing, informed or otherwise, Brink violated former SCR 20:1.7(b) and current SCR 20:1.7(a).

    The company acquired the assets of another company. The acquisition was funded by a bank loan to be paid in part by Brink. Brink's funds were later used to fund two refinancings. By entering into business transactions with the company while he represented it, and without obtaining the required written consent to the transactions, Brink violated former and current SCR 20:1.8(a).

    Brink was privately reprimanded in 2010.
     

    Public Reprimand of Alvin H. Eisenberg

    The OLR and Alvin H. Eisenberg, Milwaukee, entered into an agreement for the imposition of a public reprimand. A supreme court-appointed referee issued the reprimand on June 13, 2012.

    The reprimand concerns Eisenberg's misconduct in two matters.

    In the first matter, Eisenberg hired a man and permitted him to engage in law-related work for Eisenberg's law firm when the man's law license was suspended and then rehired the man at a time Eisenberg knew his license was suspended, all in violation of SCR 22.27(2) and (3). SCR 22.27(3) incorporates SCR 22.26 by reference. SCR 22.27(2) and (3) and SCR 22.26 are made applicable under the Rules of Professional Conduct through SCR 20:8.4(f).

    Eisenberg failed to have in place supervisory measures adequate to 1) detect that the man was holding himself out as an attorney at a time when his law license was suspended and prevent the man from doing so; and 2) detect that the man was performing law-related work under a name other than the man's own and prevent him from doing so, all in violation of SCR 20:5.3(a).

    Finally, Eisenberg failed to fully research the facts surrounding his firm's employment of the man before answering the OLR's questions, in violation of SCR 22.03(6), made applicable under the Rules of Professional Conduct through SCR 20:8.4(f).

    In the second matter, Eisenberg represented a man in a personal injury matter. During that representation, Eisenberg advanced payment to a doctor for treatment of the client, in violation of SCR 20:1.8(e).

    Eisenberg was publicly reprimanded in 1980. He received private reprimands in 1997 and 2011.




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