Wisconsin Supreme Court
Professional Responsibility — reinstatement
Attorney John C. Widule’s license to practice is reinstated, despite failure to pay the sanction against him.
“There is a difference, however, between choosing to disobey this court’s orders to pay costs and being unable to do so because of a lack of funds. The OLR’s positions regarding these requirements for reinstatement are all premised on a view that Attorney Widule made a conscious decision not to earn money in order to avoid paying his legal obligations. There is nothing in the referee’s report, however, to indicate a deliberate choice by Attorney Widule to avoid paying his creditors. The referee found that Attorney Widule has not been living a comfort-filled life while stonewalling his creditors. Rather, the referee described Attorney Widule’s life since his suspension as a “Spartan like” existence with no frivolous spending or unreported income. Attorney Widule’s income simply has not covered even his most basic needs, and he has apparently been forced to live off the kindness of his family and friends. Given the referee’s findings, we cannot conclude that Attorney Widule chose to violate this court’s orders or to avoid paying the civil sanction judgment against him.”
Attorneys: For Appellant: Widule, John C., Elm Grove; For Respondent: Krohn, Robert G., Edgerton; Weigel, William J., Madison