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High court: No reciprocal discipline for retired attorney

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has dismissed charges against an attorney who failed to report that he had been disciplined in Maine.

The Office of Lawyer Regulation had charged Carl Buzawa last year for failing to report that he had been publicly reprimanded in Maine for not completing the yearly requirements for keeping a law license in that state. The OLR had asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to impose reciprocal discipline on Buzawa.

The court had ordered Buzawa in January to show cause why discipline reciprocal to that imposed by Maine would not be appropriate. He responded in February, explaining he had retired from practicing law in December 2012, would not be returning to practice. He also noted that he had moved to Florida and thus did not know about the discipline in Maine and had been in Australia and New Zealand during the Maine proceedings. He asked the OLR to withdraw its complaint.

The OLR refused, according to court documents, contending that Buzawa had not claimed the discipline in Maine was wrong or invalid.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court, however, disagreed with the OLR and issued an order on April 10 dismissing the complaint against Buzawa and finding that no discipline was warranted in Buzawa’s case, given his explanation. The justices noted that Buzawa was retired and had no one, such as clients and opposing counsel, to notify about the discipline in Maine.

The justices also ordered Buzawa to bring up to date the address the Wisconsin State Bar has listed for him.

Justice Shirley Abrahamson, according to the court’s order, will be filing a separate writing.

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