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State high court hands out sanction, reprimand to attorneys

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday suspended one attorney and reprimanded another.

Hubertus attorney Everett E. Wood was suspended for six months effective March 1 in relation to 17 instances of professional misconduct, according to an opinion filed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Wood’s misconduct, according to the court, is spread over representation of seven clients. He failed to pursue a homeowner’s claim against a contractor for alleged overbilling. He also failed to inform the homeowner when that same contractor filed suit against her and when the court granted default judgment for the contractor, according to the court.

Wood failed to pursue other clients’ disputes and missed multiple court dates, such as scheduling conferences and a dismissal hearing. He also did not attempt to resolve a lien filed by a contractor against one of his clients, according to the court, among other instances of misconduct.

Wood also continued to practice despite a brief suspension in June 2009. He was suspended June 17, 2009, for being one credit shy of his required continuing legal education hours. He appeared in court after that suspension and was reinstated after gaining his missing credit hour on June 25, 2009.

Wood was ordered to pay $752.50 plus interest to former clients as restitution and to pay the full costs of the review, which came to about $20,000.

• The court also reprimanded Madison attorney Sherman Ward Hackbarth.

He was not diligent or prompt in representing a client, according to the court, or in communicating with that client. Hackbarth accepted advance payment but did not act on the client’s intent to acquire a business within a narrow timeframe. He then refused to return the advance payment, according to the court.

Hackbarth was ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution and pay the full costs of the review, which came to about $436.

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