The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday sanctioned two attorneys for professional misconduct. Both attorneys were disciplined for failing to cooperate with Office of Lawyer Regulation investigations.
Milwaukee attorney Peter Kovac was sanctioned related to a grievance the OLR filed against him in December 2010. Court records did not indicate what the grievance was about. Kovac did not respond to the grievance until the state Supreme Court ordered him to explain why his law license should not be suspended.
The OLR then filed a separate complaint alleging Kovac did not cooperate with the agency’s investigation, a violation of SCR 22.03(2). Kovac did not file an answer to the complaint.
In an interview, Kovac said he failed to respond because he was medically incapacitated. He plans to ask the state Supreme Court for reconsideration. The referee recommended Kovac be publicly reprimanded and ordered to pay the costs of the proceeding, and the court Wednesday adopted those recommendations.
The court also publicly reprimanded Kovac in 2008 from misconduct involving four separate clients. Those charges included failure to cooperate with OLR.
The state’s high court on Wednesday also suspended the law license of Jackson attorney Arik Guenther for 60 days and ordered him to pay enforcement costs. Guenther lives in Washington County, according to court records.
Guenther also was sanctioned as a result of his failure to cooperate with an OLR investigation. According to the court’s opinion, a client of Guenther’s filed a grievance with the OLR in January 2011. The OLR notified Guenther of the grievance and sought a response. Guenther did not respond to the notice. He also did not show up for a meeting scheduled with OLR investigators.
The OLR then filed a complaint with the state Supreme Court alleging violations of SCR 22.03(6) and 22.04(1). Guenther filed a response to that complaint and admitted the allegations.
Guenther “has a lengthy disciplinary history,” according to the court’s ruling, including four reprimands and three disciplinary suspensions.