Where attorney Frederick J. Voss had sexual intercourse with a mentally disturbed client, and disregarded requests from the client not to contact her anymore, a four-year suspension is appropriate.
“In determining an appropriate sanction for an attorney who has engaged in misconduct, we must consider the seriousness of the misconduct, as well as the need to protect the public, courts, and legal system from repetition of misconduct and to deter attorneys from engaging in similar misconduct. See In re Disciplinary Proceeding Against Arthur, 2005 WI 40, ¶78, 279 Wis. 2d 583, 694 N.W.2d 910. Attorney Voss’s misconduct is extremely serious. As the client’s longtime attorney and the payee for her SSI benefits, Attorney Voss held substantial power over the client. He repeatedly took advantage of his position of power and victimized a very vulnerable person for his own selfish motives. The egregious nature of Attorney Voss’s conduct caused us to give serious consideration to the sanction of revocation. Although we ultimately chose not to revoke his license to practice law, a lengthy suspension is required to effectuate the purposes of Wisconsin’s attorney regulatory system. A lesser sanction would unduly depreciate the seriousness of Attorney Voss’s misconduct.”
2008AP182-D OLR v. Voss
Attorneys: For Complainant: St. Ores, Sheryl A., Madison; For Respondent: Voss, Frederick J., Rhinelander