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Eisenberg revoked for abusive litigation

By: dmc-admin//February 22, 2010//

Eisenberg revoked for abusive litigation

By: dmc-admin//February 22, 2010//

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The law license of Milwaukee attorney Alan D. Eisenberg was revoked by the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday, likely a permanent end to a career the court found to be permeated with misconduct.

The per curiam order explained, “While the current misconduct, standing alone, would not warrant revocation, the behavior at issue here is the latest in a long line of episodes of misconduct permeating Attorney Eisenberg's entire legal career. In light of the aggravated nature of the misconduct and Attorney Eisenberg's extensive disciplinary history, we conclude that no sanction short of revocation would be sufficient to protect the public, achieve deterrence, and impress upon Attorney Eisenberg the seriousness of his misconduct.”

The misconduct at issue arose out of Eisenberg’s representation of a defendant in a criminal domestic violence case and divorce.

The day after the defendant was acquitted at trial, Eisenberg filed a civil suit against his client’s wife, alleging defamation and malicious prosecution.

The referee from the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) also found, and the court agreed, that Eisenberg then falsely told a newspaper reporter that, after the acquittal in the criminal case, jurors “stormed” the court chambers and demanded that she be prosecuted for perjury.

Default judgment was ultimately entered in the civil suit, and Eisenberg was sanctioned for filing a frivolous action, and a frivolous appeal.

Although Eisenberg paid the sanctions, and no Wisconsin attorney has ever been revoked merely for filing a frivolous action, the Supreme Court determined that revocation was the appropriate discipline, in light of Eisenberg’s extensive disciplinary history.

In 1970, Eisenberg was suspended for one year for pursuing a course of harassment against a judge, which led to the judge’s suicide. State v. Eisenberg, 48 Wis.2d 364, 180 N.W.2d 529 (1970).

He was suspended again in 1988, publicly reprimanded in 1996, and suspended again in 2004. In 2007, his license was reinstated over a bitter dissent by three justices that recounted in detail the course of conduct that led to the 1970 suspension. OLR v. Eisenberg, 2007 WI 7, 298 Wis.2d 578, 726 N.W.2d 634.

In the latest incident, the court agreed with the OLR that, “Eisenberg's conduct in the civil action became a vendetta on the part of Attorney Eisenberg to personally attack, harass, and maliciously injure M.D., which vendetta continued in the disciplinary proceeding when he subpoenaed M.D. to appear without any purpose relevant to the proceedings.”

The court further agreed with the finding that, “Attorney Eisenberg's testimony in the disciplinary proceeding was deliberately evasive, inconsistent, contradictory, false, incredible, and untrustworthy, and Attorney Eisenberg showed no remorse for the seriousness of the allegations in the OLR’s complaint.”

Before concluding, the court acknowledged, “If Attorney Eisenberg had no prior disciplinary history, or if he had a lesser disciplinary history, revocation would not be on the table.”

But in light of the history, the court determined that revocation is the only appropriate discipline.

The revocation is effective April 1, 2010.

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