On Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, commencing at 8:30 a.m., a public hearing will be held before Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) referee Robert E. Kinney in the Waukesha County Administration Building (attached to the courthouse), Room G55, Waukesha, Wis., on the petition of Christopher A. Mutschler, Sheboygan, to reinstate his Wisconsin law license. Any interested person may appear at the hearing and be heard in support of or in opposition to the petition.
If the hearing cannot be held in person due to Covid-19 restrictions, it will be held by remote videoconference at the same date and time set forth above. Any person wishing to testify or watch will be given access via videoconference.
Mutschler’s Wisconsin law license has been revoked since July 14, 2011, when the Wisconsin Supreme Court granted his petition for consensual license revocation. Mutschler’s petition acknowledged he could not successfully defend himself against professional misconduct alleged in 59 separate grievance investigations. In revoking Mutschler’s license, the court ordered that Mutschler pay restitution totaling $246,723 in 45 of the 59 investigations. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Mutschler, 2011 WI 74.
Many of the grievances against Mutschler followed a similar pattern. In general, Mutschler would accept advanced flat fees from clients in a traffic or criminal case and then advise them to enter a no contest plea, promising to win the case on appeal. Mutschler failed to notify the clients of scheduled hearings in their case or Mutschler failed to appear, resulting in default judgments being entered against clients. Mutschler failed to file appeals or prosecute appeals properly. He failed to keep clients apprised of the status of their cases and failed to return calls and requests for information from the clients about the cases. In addition to neglecting cases and failing to properly communicate with clients, Mutschler failed to hold unearned fees and advance payments in trust; failed to return unearned advance payments; and engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
Mutschler also engaged in criminal conduct that involved a charge of uttering a forgery and possessing an illegally obtaining prescription medication. He pleaded no contest, and the forgery count was made subject to deferred prosecution and later dismissed
In 2017, Mutschler petitioned for reinstatement. The court denied Mutschler’s petition, adopting the referee’s determination that in the nearly seven years between the time his license was revoked and his reinstatement petition, Mutschler never made any arrangements for repayment of any part of his restitution obligation. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Mutschler, 2019 WI 92.
To be reinstated, Mutschler has the burden of substantiating by clear, 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 detrimental to the administration of justice or subversive of the public interest, 3) all of his representations in his reinstatement petition are substantiated, and 4) he has complied fully with the terms of the order of revocation and with SCR 22.26.
Relevant information may be provided to or obtained from OLR assistant litigation counsel Kim M. Kluck, P.O. Box 1648, Madison, WI 53701-1648. Phone: (608) 267-2024; email: gov Kim.Kluck wicourts wicourts Kim.Kluck gov.
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