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State’s high court disciplines 2 Ill. attorneys

By: Jack Zemlicka, [email protected]//April 4, 2012//

State’s high court disciplines 2 Ill. attorneys

By: Jack Zemlicka, [email protected]//April 4, 2012//

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The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday reciprocally disciplined two Illinois attorneys for their 2006 criminal convictions in Green Lake County.

Attorney Benjamin Butler, of Medina, Ill., received a 30-day suspension and attorney Stephen Addison, of Chicago, received a 60-day suspension. Both penalties were consistent with discipline previously imposed by the Illinois Supreme Court.

The suspensions stemmed from a 2005 incident involving a Berlin, Wis., woman who claimed the two attorneys raped her at a boat landing in the town of Brooklyn in Green Lake County.

Felony charges filed by prosecutors were pleaded down, and both attorneys were ultimately convicted of second-degree reckless endangerment and other lesser crimes.

Addison received 30 days in jail and 500 hours of community service. Butler received no jail time and 300 hours of community service. The judge in the case also stayed a five-year prison sentence for Addison and a 1-1/2 year sentence for Butler.

In its decision Wednesday, the court stated that the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission was given jurisdiction over the disciplinary investigation, and the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation wanted to avoid duplicative use of resources.

But in a dissenting opinion authored by Justice Patience Roggensack, she said the criminal convictions warranted more substantial punishments in Wisconsin.

Roggensack, joined by Justice N. Patrick Crooks in dissent, said that reckless endangerment convictions would have resulted in more severe sanctions, “if OLR had begun its own investigation rather than relying on the judgment of the State of Illinois.”

Butler is currently suspended in Wisconsin for non-payment of dues and Continuing Legal Education credit delinquency.

Addison’s 60-day suspension begins May 7.


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