Wisconsin Supreme Court
Professional Responsibility — Suspension
Where attorney Anne E. Brown converted clients’ money to her own use, a two-year suspension is appropriate.
“[T]he referee concluded and we agree that Attorney Brown committed misconduct in her handling of the J.B. matter as alleged in the amended complaint as follows: (1) by failing to hold in trust and instead using for her own purposes at least $4,636.42 of the $4,681.51 in insurance proceeds belonging to J.B. and her former husband, Attorney Brown violated SCRs 20:1.15(b)(1) and 20:8.4(c); (2) by failing to hold J.B.’s advanced fee of $3,000 in trust until earned, Attorney Brown violated SCR 20:1.15(b)(4); (3) by falsely informing J.B. that she did not have the insurance funds available to distribute because someone else had been stealing from her trust account, Attorney Brown violated SCR 20:8.4(c); (4) by failing to maintain a transaction register, an individual client ledger, and a monthly reconciliation report, Attorney Brown violated SCRs 20:1.15(f)(1)a., b., and g.; (5) by certifying to the State Bar of Wisconsin in her fiscal 2008 and 2009 dues statements that she had complied with each of the recordkeeping requirements set forth in SCR 20:1.15(f), when she was not maintaining a complete transaction register, client ledgers or performing monthly reconciliations, Attorney Brown filed false certificates with the State Bar, in violation of SCR 20:1.15(i)(4); and (6) by failing to respond timely to the OLR’s multiple written requests for information regarding this investigation, Attorney Brown violated SCRs 22.03(2) and 22.03(6), enforced by SCR 20:8.4(h).”
Attorneys: For Complainant: Arnold, Wayne A., Rice Lake; Weigel, William J., Madison; For Respondent: Brown, Anne E., Eau Claire; Bloomquist, Mark A., Minneapolis, MN