The Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR), an agency of the Wisconsin
Supreme Court, provides these summaries. 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. Find
the full text of these summaries at www.wicourts.gov/olr.
Public Reprimand of Jeremiah Meyer-O’Day
The Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) and Jeremiah Meyer-O’Day, Lancaster, entered into an agreement for imposition of a public reprimand, pursuant to SCR 22.09(1). A Wisconsin Supreme Court-appointed referee approved the agreement and issued the public reprimand on Aug. 22, 2018, in accordance with SCR 22.09(3). This reprimand is based on Meyer-O’Day’s misconduct in two matters.
First matter:Meyer-O’Day is employed by the Wisconsin State Public Defender (SPD). On Oct. 31, 2016, Meyer-O’Day’s law license was administratively suspended because of his failure to pay State Bar of Wisconsin dues and supreme court assessments and his failure to certify his compliance with the trust account record-keeping requirements.
Ultimately, Meyer-O’Day paid his dues and assessments, the late fee, and the reinstatement fee and provided his trust account certification to the State Bar. On Nov. 8, 2016, Meyer-O’Day was reinstated from his administrative license suspension. Meyer-O’Day appeared on behalf of SPD clients in 26 criminal cases while his law license was suspended.
In February 2017, Meyer-O’Day’s coworker, also an SPD attorney, had a conversation with Meyer-O’Day regarding Meyer-O’Day’s administrative suspension. The coworker secretly video-recorded most of the conversation with his cell phone. Meyer-O’Day’s statements to the coworker were untrue.
By appearing on behalf of numerous SPD clients when his license was suspended, Meyer-O’Day violated SCR 10.03(6), SCR 20:1.15(i)(4), and SCR 22.26(2), which are enforced under the Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys via SCR 20:8.4(f).
By misrepresenting to his coworker that he rescheduled his cases and took time off for most of the days he was suspended, Meyer-O’Day violated SCR 20:8.4(c).
By misrepresenting to the OLR that he did not receive written notification from the State Bar that his hardship-waiver application was denied, and that the State Bar did not notify him that his license would be suspended if his dues and assessments were not paid by Oct. 31, 2016, Meyer-O’Day violated SCR 22.03(6), which is enforced under the Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys through SCR 20:8.4(h).
Second matter:On Oct. 23, 2014, a client hired a law firm where Meyer-O’Day was then employed to have Meyer-O’Day represent her with respect to filing a civil action. Meyer-O’Day resigned from the law firm in September 2015 and began working for the SPD on Oct. 5, 2015. The client called Meyer-O’Day on multiple occasions requesting information regarding the status of the case, but he did not respond to her calls.
By failing to keep the client reasonably informed regarding the status of the case, and by failing to respond to the client’s telephone calls requesting information, Meyer-O’Day violated SCR 20:1.4(a)(3) and (4).
On termination of the representation, by failing to provide reasonable notice to the client of the termination, and by otherwise failing to take reasonable steps to protect the client’s interests, Meyer-O’Day violated SCR 20:1.16(d).
Meyer-O’Day had no prior discipline.
Reinstatement Proceedings of Michael D. Mandelman
On May 24, 2018, the supreme court denied the reinstatement petition of Michael D. Mandelman, Milwaukee, and ordered Mandelman to pay the $7,674.57 cost of the reinstatement proceeding. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Mandelman, 2018 WI 56. On Sept. 4, 2018, the court denied Mandelman’s reconsideration motion.
Mandelman was licensed to practice law in Wisconsin in 1980. He has been the subject of seven disciplinary proceedings. His license has been suspended or revoked since 2006. Mandelman filed an earlier reinstatement petition in 2014, which was denied. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Mandelman, 2015 WI 105.
In 2017, Mandelman filed a second reinstatement petition. The court concluded Mandelman failed to meet his burden to prove that he possesses the moral character to practice law in Wisconsin, that he has a proper understanding of and attitude toward the standards imposed on members of the bar, that he will act in conformity with those standards, and that he can be safely recommended as a person fit to be consulted by others, to represent them, and to otherwise act in matters of trust and confidence.
The court’s denial of Mandelman’s reconsideration motion underscored that the practice of law is not a right but a privilege, and that Mandelman’s “breathtakingly extensive disciplinary history prevents the court from concluding that he has the good moral character and fitness to make him eligible for reinstatement.” The court observed that “the utter scope, breadth, and duration of Mr. Mandelman’s professional misconduct was so extensive that a long period of exemplary conduct will be required before the court might consider reinstatement appropriate.”
Disciplinary Proceedings Against Stephanie C. Stoltman
On July 24, 2018, the supreme court publicly reprimanded Stephanie C. Stoltman, Cortaro, Ariz., as discipline reciprocal to a 2010 Supreme Court of Arizona censure and a 2017 Supreme Court of Arizona admonition. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Stoltman, 2018 WI 91.
The 2010 Arizona censure resulted from Stoltman’s poor trust account record-keeping and excessive disbursements. The 2017 Arizona admonition related to Stoltman’s work as a court-appointed arbitrator. Stoltman held an arbitration hearing but did not enter an order or decision and did not appear at an order to show cause hearing on her failure to do so. Stoltman did not notify the OLR of either Arizona disciplinary action within 20 days after their effective dates.