The Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR), an agency of the Wisconsin
Supreme Court, provides these summaries for educational
purposes. The OLR assists the court in supervising the practice
of law and protecting the public from misconduct by lawyers.
Find the full text of these summaries at www.wicourts.gov/olr.
Disciplinary Proceedings Against Courtney Kathleen Kelbel
On Oct. 22, 2019, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended the law license of Courtney Kathleen Kelbel, Milwaukee, for six months. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Kelbel, 2019 WI 93. The court ordered Kelbel to pay restitution to the Wisconsin Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection in the amount of $4,625, as well as the costs of the proceeding, totaling $1,037.25.
Kelbel’s suspension was based on 11 counts of professional misconduct spanning five client matters. In three instances, Kelbel failed to act with reasonable diligence, in violation of SCR 20:1.3. In another three instances, Kelbel failed to refund an unearned advanced fee, in violation of SCR 20:1.16(d). In all five client matters, Kelbel failed to provide the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) with a written response to the grievance, violating SCR 22.03(2). In three of those cases, Kelbel’s failure to respond was willful and therefore also violated SCR 22.03(6).
Kelbel had no prior discipline.
Disciplinary Proceedings Against Elizabeth Farrell
On Sept. 10, 2019, the supreme court publicly reprimanded Elizabeth Farrell, Portland, Ore., as discipline reciprocal to a stipulated public reprimand imposed against Farrell’s Oregon law license by the Oregon Supreme Court on May 17, 2019. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Farrell, 2019 WI 88. Farrell also violated SCR 22.22(1) by failing to notify the OLR of the Oregon public reprimand, although she did not realize she had the responsibility to do so, incorrectly believing her Wisconsin law license was in inactive status. The misconduct leading to the Oregon reprimand consisted of not timely returning a client file to a former client or successor counsel, in violation of Oregon Rule of Professional Conduct 1.16(d).
Farrell had no prior discipline. Her Wisconsin law license has been administratively suspended since 2009.
Disciplinary Proceedings Against Nicholas C. Kefalos
On Oct. 22, 2019, the supreme court suspended Nicholas C. Kefalos’ Wisconsin law license for six months effective Dec. 3, 2019, as discipline reciprocal to a six-month suspension imposed by the Illinois Supreme Court. Kefalos also violated SCR 22.22(1) by failing to notify the OLR of the Illinois suspension. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Kefalos, 2019 WI 94.
The conduct leading to the Illinois license suspension arose out of Kefalos’ violation of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct for his failure to act with reasonable diligence and promptness (1.3); failure to keep the client reasonably informed (1.4(a)(3)); failure to promptly comply with a reasonable request for information (1.4(a)(4)); failure to refund $2,550 in unearned advanced fees (1.16(d)); and failure to respond to lawful requests for information from the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (8.1(b)).
Disciplinary Proceedings Against Jeffrey P. White
On Oct. 22, 2019, the supreme court suspended Jeffrey P. White’s Wisconsin law license for nine months as discipline reciprocal to a nine-month suspension and public reprimand imposed by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. White also violated SCR 22.22(1) by failing to notify the OLR of the Maine suspension. Disciplinary Proceedings Against White, 2019 WI 95.
The misconduct leading to the Maine license suspension arose out of White’s violation of the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct for his failure to act with reasonable diligence and promptness (1.3); failure to communicate with the client about the means to accomplish the client’s objectives and status of the case and to respond to reasonable requests for information (1.4(a)(2), (3)-(4)); excessive fee (1.5(i)); failure to return unearned advanced fee (1.16(d)); failure to put advanced fee into trust (1.15(b)); candor to the tribunal (3.3(a)); falsifying evidence (3.4(b)); truthfulness in statements to others (4.1(a)); failure to supervise a nonlawyer assistant or employee (5.3); and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, deceit, and misrepresentation and stating or implying the ability to improperly influence a governmental agency or official (8.4(c)).