June 7, 2023 – On April 26, 2023, James C. Ritland filed a petition to reinstate his Wisconsin law license. The Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) will investigate the eligibility of Ritland for reinstatement of his license and assigned OLR Matter No. 2023MA599 to its investigation.
On April 22, 2021, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended Ritland’s law license for two years, commencing June 3, 2021, and ordered him to pay the full costs of the disciplinary proceedings. Disciplinary Proc. Against Ritland, 2021 WI 36. The suspension was based on Ritland’s sexual misconduct that resulted in his conviction for two counts of attempted adultery and one count of disorderly conduct. Ritland exploited the vulnerabilities of two women and his standing as an attorney to have quid pro quo sexual contact with the women at his law office. Ritland’s conduct underlying the conviction reflected adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness, and fitness as a lawyer in other respects, in violation of SCR 20:8.4(b).
Ritland has the burden of demonstrating by clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence, that he has the moral character to practice law in Wisconsin; that his resumption of the practice of law will not be detrimental to the administration of justice or subversive of the public interest; that the representations made in his petition are substantiated; and that he has complied fully with the terms of the order of his suspension and with the requirements of SCR 22.26 regarding an attorney’s activities following suspension or revocation.
Interested parties may submit written comments regarding Ritland and his petition to the OLR, Attn: Lorry C. Eldien, P.O. Box 1648, Madison, WI 53701-1648. Alternatively, written comments may be submitted via email to email@example.com. Comments must be submitted by June 26, 2023. All comments will be forwarded to the supreme court. If a referee is assigned to conduct a hearing in this matter, all comments will also be forwarded to the referee. Individuals who submit comments may be contacted by the OLR for more information.
Upon completion of the investigation of Ritland’s petition, the OLR will file a response with the supreme court. If the OLR does not oppose reinstatement, the OLR will enter into a stipulation for reinstatement with Ritland for direct consideration by the supreme court. If the OLR opposes reinstatement, a referee will be appointed and a reinstatement hearing scheduled.
Notice of any hearing on Ritland’s petition will be sent to those requesting such notice. A request for notice of hearing must include the address to which the notice is to be sent, and should be directed to the OLR at either the post office box or email address above.
Information regarding the status of Ritland’s petition and any hearing can be obtained from the OLR and is available at www.wicourts.gov/services/public/lawyerreg/statuspetition.htm.
This notice is published pursuant to SCR 22.30(2) and will be the only notice published regarding this matter.
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