These summaries are provided by the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR), an agency of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The OLR assists the court in supervising the practice of law and protecting 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 is at www.wicourts.gov/olr.
Disciplinary Proceedings Against Leonard G. Adent
On March 29, 2016, the Wisconsin Supreme Court approved an SCR 22.12 stipulation filed by the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) and Leonard G. Adent, Pewaukee, and publicly reprimanded Adent. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Adent, 2016 WI 19. In the stipulation, Adent agreed that the factual allegations contained in the OLR’s complaint were accurate, that he had committed the five counts of professional misconduct charged in the complaint, and that a public reprimand was appropriate discipline for his misconduct.
Adent further stipulated and the court ordered that specified conditions be imposed on Adent regarding his treatment for alcohol abuse and for the monitoring of his business and trust accounts. Because Adent entered into a stipulation under SCR 22.12, the court did not impose any costs.
Since at least 2009, Adent maintained the “Leonard G. Adent Attorney at Law IOLTA Trust Account” at the Waukesha State Bank. Adent used the trust account for, among other things, holding funds of clients and third parties. Until late March 2014, Adent had neither a business bank account nor a personal bank account. He retained earned fees in his trust account and used the trust account to pay personal expenses.
By receiving trust funds but failing to maintain a business account, Adent violated SCR 20:1.15(e)(8). By commingling his personal funds with client funds held in his trust account, for purposes other than paying monthly bank-account service charges, Adent violated SCR 20:1.15(b)(3).
By accepting a $1,500 loan from a client in January 2014, without any required written disclosures or the client’s informed consent and no documentation of the transaction other than a backdated promissory note, Adent violated SCR 20:1.8(a).
Adent violated SCR 20:1.15(f)(1) by 1) failing to maintain a transaction register, individual client ledgers, and a ledger for account fees and charges; 2) disbursing checks from his trust account without identifying the client matter and the reason for the disbursement on the memo line or using the memo line to attribute checks to a client matter when actually disbursing his personal funds; 3) failing to record the client or matter associated with each deposit item on his deposit slips; and 4) failing to perform monthly reconciliations of his IOLTA checking account.
Unrelated to his trust account violations, on Nov. 25, 2014, pursuant to a guilty plea, Adent was convicted of misdemeanor operating while intoxicated (OWI) (third), sentenced to 150 days in jail with Huber privileges, and fined, and his driver’s license was revoked for 33 months. By engaging in conduct leading to a criminal conviction of OWI (third), Adent violated SCR 20:8.4(b).
Adent received a public reprimand in 2012.
Disciplinary Proceedings Against James Schoenecker
In an April 22, 2016 decision, the supreme court suspended the law license of James Schoenecker, Elm Grove, for one year, effective April 22, 2016. The court also ordered Schoenecker to pay one-half the cost of the disciplinary proceeding, or $4,250.30. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Schoenecker,2016 WI 27.
In 2012, Schoenecker and two other individuals established a limited liability company (LLC) named GameMaster LLC. As the managing partner of the LLC, Schoenecker mishandled capital contributions, repeatedly charged personal expenses to the LLC, used LLC funds to pay his own credit card bills, wrote LLC checks to pay his own personal expenses, used the LLC debit card to make ATM withdrawals at Potawatomi Casino, charged personal expenses to the LLC credit card, undertook use of LLC funds without preapproval from either of his business partners, and charged significant personal expenses to the GameMaster LLC business account.
Pursuant to a stipulation, Schoenecker agreed not to dispute the OLR’s charge that, as chief executive manager of GameMaster LLC, Schoenecker failed to account clearly or timely for capital contributions made by other members, withdrew excessive funds from GameMaster LLC, and charged personal expenses to GameMaster LLC, all without preapproval from his business partners, in violation of SCR 20:8.4(c), which provides, “It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to: … (c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.”
In 2011, the court suspended Schoenecker’s law license for three years for misconduct that included attempting to defraud a client through law firm invoices; engaging in a pattern of attempted and completed thefts from a client’s bank accounts, for which he pleaded guilty to one felony count of identity theft; and failing to inform his law firm employer that he had set up his own separate law firm on the side. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Schoenecker, 2011 WI 76, 336 Wis. 2d 253, 804 N.W.2d 686.
Public Reprimand of Daniel E. Olsen
The OLR and Daniel E. Olsen, Jefferson, entered into an agreement for the imposition of a public reprimand, pursuant to SCR 22.09(1). A supreme court-appointed referee approved the agreement and issued the public reprimand on April 13, 2016, in accordance with SCR 22.09(3).
Olsen engaged in misconduct in two matters. In the first matter, Olsen was charged in a criminal case filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court with two separate counts of knowingly operating a motor vehicle while suspended - causing great bodily harm, in violation of Wis. Stat. section 343.44(1)(a) and
(2)(ag)2., a Class I felony. Olsen was knowingly driving with a suspended driver’s license at the time of the events leading to the criminal charges.
Pursuant to no-contest pleas, Olsen was found guilty of two separate amended counts of reckless driving – causing bodily harm, in violation of Wis. Stat. section 346.62(3), an unclassified misdemeanor. Knowing that he was driving with a suspended driver’s license, by engaging in conduct leading to a misdemeanor conviction of two counts of reckless driving – causing bodily harm, Olsen violated SCR 20:8.4(b), which states, “It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to … commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.” Olsen failed to provide timely written notice of his criminal conviction to the OLR and the Clerk of the Supreme Court and thus violated SCR 21.15(5), which is enforced under the Rules of Professional Conduct via SCR 20:8.4(f).
In the second matter, Olsen’s Wisconsin law license was suspended on June 1, 2015, pursuant to SCR 31.10(1) as a result of his noncompliance with the 2013-14 mandatory continuing legal education (CLE) requirements. Olsen was reinstated from his CLE suspension on June 12, 2015. Olsen practiced law during the period of suspension, making court appearances, participating in settlement negotiations, and engaging with clients and attorneys concerning legal matters in which he was involved. By practicing law in Wisconsin when his Wisconsin law license was administratively suspended for noncompliance with mandatory CLE requirements, Olsen violated SCR 31.10(1), enforced via SCR 20:8.4(f).
Pursuant to SCR 22.22(2), Olsen was publicly reprimanded in 2011 as reciprocal discipline following a public censure imposed in Colorado, where he is also licensed. Olsen received a private reprimand in 2013 for misconduct in two separate matters, the first involving a violation of SCR 10.03(6), enforced via SCR 20:8.4(f) (practicing during dues suspension), and the second involving a violation of SCR 20:1.16(d).
Public Reprimand of Eugene J. Dietzler
The OLR and Eugene J. Dietzler, Milwaukee, entered into an agreement for the imposition of a public reprimand, pursuant to SCR 22.09(1). A supreme court-appointed referee approved the agreement and issued the public reprimand on April 13, 2016, in accordance with SCR 22.09(3).
In separate cases filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, Dietzler was convicted of misdemeanor OWI (third) and OWI (fourth). By engaging in conduct leading to the criminal convictions, Dietzler, in each instance, violated SCR 20:8.4(b), which states, “It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to … commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.”
Dietzler was privately reprimanded in 2008 for violating SCR 20:8.4(b) in connection with an OWI (second) conviction.
Public Reprimand of Mary A. Harper
The OLR and Mary A. Harper, Beaver Dam, entered into an agreement for imposition of a public reprimand, pursuant to SCR 22.09(1). A supreme court-appointed referee approved the agreement and issued the public reprimand on April 14, 2016, in accordance with SCR 22.09(3).
On Oct. 7, 2014, a woman made a 911 call regarding a vehicle that she had been following that had gone into a field and almost rolled over. The woman gave the 911 dispatcher the address where the vehicle ultimately arrived in the town of Beaver Dam. Dodge County sheriff’s deputies went to the address and met with the driver, later identified as Harper. After performing field sobriety tests, Harper provided a preliminary breath test (PBT) with a result of 0.133. A deputy then arrested Harper for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
On Oct. 20, 2014, a Juneau Police Department officer was dispatched to the Dodge County Courthouse. A court security officer informed the police officer that Harper may have been under the influence of an intoxicant. Harper had open felony conditions of her bond resulting from her Oct. 7, 2014 arrest. The police officer was advised that Harper was a lawyer and was in court representing a client. The police officer made contact with Harper in the court lobby. After conducting field sobriety tests, the police officer asked Harper to submit to a PBT. Harper submitted to a PBT and the result was 0.179. The police officer arrested Harper for OWI and bail jumping.
On Dec. 3, 2015, after pleading no contest, Harper was convicted of misdemeanor OWI (third). Harper’s sentence included three years’ probation, 14 days in jail with work release, driver’s license revocation for two years, and a fine. The same day and also after pleading no contest, Harper was convicted of misdemeanor OWI (fourth). Harper’s sentence included three years’ probation, 60 days in jail with work release, driver’s license revocation for two years, and a fine. Harper also was found guilty of bail jumping – felony and entered into a plea diversion agreement for deferred judgment.
By engaging in conduct leading to a criminal conviction of OWI (third), a criminal conviction of OWI (fourth), and a guilty finding of bail jumping – felony resulting in a deferred judgment, Harper in each instance violated SCR 20:8.4(b).
As described above, Harper arrived at the Dodge County Courthouse on Oct. 20, 2014, in a state of intoxication. At 1 p.m. on that day, Harper appeared with a client at a sentencing hearing.
By appearing in court to represent a client at a sentencing hearing while she was impaired as a result of alcohol consumption, Harper violated SCR 20:1.1.
Harper had no prior discipline.