Even though Gary R. George has not acknowledged wrongdoing that led to his criminal convictions, reinstatement of his law license is appropriate.
“There is nothing in the supreme court rules that requires Attorney George to acknowledge the wrongfulness of his actions before reinstatement. The rules do require Attorney George to have a proper understanding of and attitude towards the standards imposed on members of the Wisconsin bar and to act in conformity with those standards if reinstated. We note that each of the seven witnesses who testified on Attorney George’s behalf believes Attorney George would not engage in further misconduct in the future. All of the witnesses believe Attorney George to be honest and all stated they would also trust Attorney George with their future legal affairs. The record evidence shows Attorney George greatly regrets the embarrassment he has brought to his family and his family name. Indeed, the referee acknowledged the evidence ‘strongly suggests that [Attorney] George will avoid further misconduct’ albeit because ‘he does not wish to go to prison again or lose his license to practice law again, and not because he appreciates the wrongfulness of his previous misconduct.'”
“We are reluctant to hold that an individual must explicitly admit wrongdoing to be reinstated. Attorney George has entered a guilty plea to criminal conduct and that fact is a matter of public record. He has been criminally sanctioned, incarcerated, and professionally disciplined for his offenses. The evidence supports a conclusion that Attorney George will not commit professional misconduct in the future. As such, we are persuaded that he has met his burden of showing that he has a proper understanding of and attitude toward the standards imposed on members of the Wisconsin bar, and that he will act in conformity with those standards.”
2005AP1978-D OLR v. George
Attorneys: For Complainant: George, Gary R., Grafton; Hazelbaker, Mark, Madison; For Respondent: Basting, Thomas J., Madison; Weigel, William J., Madison