The Wisconsin Supreme Court this week suspended Milwaukee attorney Benjamin Harris and publicly reprimanded suspended Chicago attorney Lisa Webber Hicks.
Harris, of Harris Law Offices SC, Milwaukee, is suspended from practicing law in Wisconsin for five months as a result of professional misconduct.
According to court documents, Harris failed to respond to clients, failed to provide necessary documents in a timely fashion in more than one case and failed to tell a client he was moving to dismiss her case.
In total, the Office of Lawyer Regulation alleged 14 counts of misconduct.
Harris has previously been disciplined on three prior occasions. Those instances involved failure to act and failure to keep a client reasonably informed.
In responding to the most recent OLR compliant, Harris said that since the incidents in question occurred, he has “made substantial progress in handling the way he practices law,” including finding a mentor and downsizing his practice to better prioritize. He also receives counseling for depression, according to court documents.
The court acknowledged his process and requires, in addition to the suspension, that Harris “continue counseling for his depression,” according to court documents, and that he pay the full costs of the proceeding, which were $19,294 as of Oct. 3.
Chicago lawyer’s suspension continues
Webber Hicks’ reprimand was reciprocal action as a result of her failing to notify Wisconsin that she was recently censured by the Tennessee Supreme Court. Her Wisconsin law license has been suspended since June 1994 for failure to comply with CLE requirements and failure to pay State Bar dues.
Wisconsin justices previously imposed a four-year suspension and a public reprimand against Webber Hicks as reciprocal discipline for a separate Tennessee Supreme Court ruling for professional misconduct, according to court documents.
The more recent Tennessee censure came as a result of Webber Hicks continuing to represent clients in that state while her license was suspended.
Her license to practice law in Wisconsin remains suspended for both the administrative and disciplinary reasons.