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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    December 08, 2020

    Lawyer Discipline

    The Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR), an agency of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, provides these summaries for educational purposes.

    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

    Public Reprimand of Mark S. Tishberg

    The Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) and Mark S. Tishberg, Mequon, 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 Oct. 12, 2020, in accordance with
    SCR 22.09(3).

    Tishberg represented a client in two separate and unrelated matters, each of which eventually led to lawsuits filed in circuit court. The first matter stemmed from an automobile accident. Tishberg represented the client pursuant to an oral contingent-fee agreement not reduced to a writing signed by the client, in violation of SCR 20:1.5(c). In violation of SCR 20:1.3, Tishberg did not file a witness list in accordance with the court’s scheduling order, for which he offered no explanation, and which had a negative effect on the client’s ability to prove his case. Tishberg failed to answer the defendants’ requests for admissions, in violation of SCR 20:3.4(d). The client’s complaint was eventually dismissed, and the adverse insurer prevailed on its counterclaim.

    The second matter involved claims against the client’s residential landlord. Tishberg again represented the client pursuant to an oral contingent-fee agreement, in violation of SCR 20:1.5(c). Tishberg delayed in filing a lawsuit against the landlord for approximately six years, in violation of SCR 20:1.3. The lawsuit resulted in a judgment in favor of the defendant.

    Tishberg previously received a public reprimand in 2014. Disciplinary Proc. Against Tishberg, 2014 WI 118.

    Disciplinary Proceedings Against Michael M. Rajek

    On Oct. 20, 2020, the supreme court publicly reprimanded Michael M. Rajek, Eau Claire, and ordered him to pay the full $8,151.08 cost of the disciplinary proceeding. Disciplinary Proc. Against Rajek, 2020 WI 81.

    In September 2011, Rajek was hired to represent a client in a criminal proceeding. The client was charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor. No fee agreement was signed at that time. At some point, a fee agreement dated Sept. 25, 2012, was signed. On Sept. 24, 2012, the client pleaded no contest to one felony count and the misdemeanor, and the state dismissed the other two felony counts. The client was convicted and sentenced to two years’ incarceration and four years’ extended supervision on the felony and nine months’ jail time for the misdemeanor. Rajek filed a notice of intent to pursue postconviction relief and a notice of appeal.

    On Dec. 26, 2013, Rajek filed an appellate brief challenging an aspect of the client’s sentencing. The state moved to dismiss the appeal because Rajek had not first filed a postconviction motion. Rajek did not respond, and on Feb. 6, 2014, the appeal was dismissed because a postconviction motion was a prerequisite to the sentencing challenge. Rajek then filed a motion for reconsideration, which the court of appeals granted, extending the time for filing a postconviction motion until April 11, 2014. On April 11, 2014, Rajek filed a postconviction motion.

    By failing to make a timely filing of a motion for postconviction relief, resulting in the dismissal of the client’s appeal, Rajek violated SCR 20:1.3.

    By failing to communicate to the client, in writing, the scope of his representation and the basis or rate of his fee or expenses for which the client would be responsible, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation, Rajek violated SCR 20:1.5(b)(l).

    By failing to timely provide the OLR with a written response to the client’s grievance and by willfully failing to furnish requested documents, Rajek violated SCR 22.03(2) and SCR 22.03(6), enforced via SCR 20:8.4(h).

    The court stated, “This is, however, the fourth time Attorney Rajek has committed professional misconduct. We warn him that our policy of progressive discipline suggests that if he faces professional discipline again, the court is unlikely to consider a reprimand sufficient.”

    Rajek received a private reprimand in 1986 and a public reprimand in 2006. In 2015, Rajek was found to have committed five counts of professional misconduct, but the court imposed no discipline because of the technical nature of the violations.

    Disciplinary Proceedings Against Scott F. Anderson

    In an Oct. 28, 2020 decision, the supreme court suspended the law license of Scott F. Anderson, Milwaukee, for 60 days, effective Dec. 9, 2020. The court also ordered Anderson to pay the $19,339.98 cost of the disciplinary proceeding. Disciplinary Proc. Against Anderson, 2020 WI 82.

    Anderson’s suspension was based on six counts of misconduct arising in two criminal matters.

    In the first matter, Anderson violated SCR 20:1.4(a)(2) by failing to timely consult with a client about additional discovery the client believed to be outstanding; SCR 20:1.4(a)(3) by failing to timely communicate with the client on defense strategy; and SCR 20:1.4(a)(4) by failing to timely respond to the client’s reasonable requests for information.

    In the second matter, Anderson was assigned as standby counsel to assist a self-represented defendant in two criminal cases. Anderson violated SCR 20:1.3 by failing to provide the defendant with a motion-deadline letter to facilitate use of the prison library; SCR 20:1.4(a)(3) by failing to inform the defendant that he had received additional discovery documents in May 2016 and to keep the defendant informed about the case in general; and SCR 20:1.4(a)(4) by failing to timely respond to the defendant’s reasonable requests for information regarding the case.

    In 1991, Anderson received a consensual private reprimand, and he received consensual public reprimands in 2004 and 2005. In 2010, Anderson’s license to practice law was suspended for 60 days. Disciplinary Proc. Against Anderson, 2010 WI 39.

    Cite to 93. Wis. Law. 72-73 (December 2020).

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