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Tommysgirl

Being represented by suspended lawyers who were suspended

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I was represented in a criminal case  by an attorney who was at the time publicly reprimanded by the OLR, found guilty of 9 counts of lawyer misconduct, while under suspension.  Can attorneys represent criminal clients in felony cases while their law licenses have been suspended in the state of Wisconsin?

 

Looking for any cases that were overturned on appeal because of being represented by a suspended lawyer for misconduct.

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Your post is a big unclear primarily because first you say he was publicly reprimanded and then you talk about suspension.  A reprimand can happen without a suspension and in WI is HAS to happen before suspension.  Suspension comes after a hearing with a referee who then makes a recommendation regarding penalties.  So an attorney can be publicly reprimanded long before their license to practice is suspended.  If it was suspended during the time he represented someone, he is obligated to tell his client and the court and opposing counsel and he must withdraw from the case.  Usually, the court and other local attorneys would already know....

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The answer to your question is yes, but it's not legal.

 

How long ago did the events mentioned occur?  What was the result of the case in which the lawyer represented you?  Sounds like you were convicted.  If so, when did the conviction occur?  What was the sentence?  Is the sentence complete?

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Yes he represented me in 2002.  Atty was already suspended then brought up on further charges in 2003 of 15 counts of lawyer misconduct and found guilty of (9).  At this point the referee stated that it is most unfortunate to be a pattern with [attorney].   His charges were:  lawyer misconduct, fraud, deception, lying to a client, not informing a client, misleading, failure to respond in a timely manner and failure to keep his client in formed.  The referee also stated that [attorney] has a hx of taking advantage of the less intelligent.  A public reprimand was ordered and was ordered to pay all court costs and fees for this hearing.  If he did not show reason why he could not pay in a timely manner, that his license would continue to be suspended.  [attorney] never informed myself or the court that his license was suspended.  My sentence was 20 in, 10 out for second degree sexual assault that now the victim is now coming forward admitting that she lied about the assault.   We are in the process of appealing.  In my first appeal, I did inform my appellate atty that [attorney] was suspended when representing me, and was told by my appellate atty  that it didn't matter.  So, this was never brought up in court at any time, I have been sitting in jail for 14 years on a lie and railroaded into pleading guilty for something that I did not do, which is being proven by my accuser now.  I was out on 20,000.00 cash bond, when I was approached by [attorney] to enter a plea at which I told him I would not plead guilty to this because I did not do it.  At this point [attorney] threatened me by saying "I already told them we were going to enter a plea today, and if you don't you're going to piss off the DA and the judge is going to order you remanded.  I said, "for what, I have done nothing wrong.  [attorney] replied, lets just enter a plea now until the DNA comes back.  When the DNA results come back, we will retract your guilty plea and go to trial if it is favorable.  (The argument continued and as you see, he convinced me.)  This went on for another 2 years which at this point we find out the DNA was never sent out as I was trying to retract my guilty plea.

Edited by FindLaw_GK
Removed attorney's name.

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Moderators:  Please edit the OP's posts that identify the person involved by name in violation of this site's rules.

 

Rather than answer my questions directly, you provided a long narrative with a bunch of detail I didn't ask for.  However, it sounds like he was suspended at the time of the representation and that you have not completed your sentence.  It also sounds like the conviction was based on a guilty plea, and that's a huge problem for you.  You wrote that "[w]e are in the process of appealing," but it's not clear who "we" are, and I have a hard time believing an appeal could still be pending for a conviction that occurred 15 years ago and which was based on a guilty plea.  If you are appealing or pursuing some post-conviction relief, I suggest you confer with the attorney representing you about this.

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That he was suspended is a fact outside the record of the conviction and can only be raised via habeas petition, not an appeal.  The only thing that can be appealed after a guilty plea is the sentence and then only if it 1)wasn't a negotiated sentence or 2) the time imposed was greater than allowed by law. 

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