An embattled Milwaukee criminal defense attorney is facing her fourth complaint in three years from the Office of Lawyer Regulation for allegedly mishandling cases involving five clients in the past several years.
Bridget Boyle-Saxton of Boyle, Boyle & Boyle SC faces 15 counts for mishandling money matters and failing to properly communicate with her clients, according to an OLR complaint filed July 18.
In one of the cases, she represented Kevin Scholz, a police officer with Big City Lake and Norway who was charged with OWI in 2009. Scholz later resigned from the department, but had to handle “issues arising from what had become a public matter” on his own because Boyle-Saxton didn’t respond to any of Scholz’s messages, according to the complaint.
She also failed to show up to an administrative review with the Department of Transportation for Scholz’s case, the complaint states.
The OLR is recommending that the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspend her license for a year and run the sentence consecutive to any other punishment.
The new charges are just the most recent ones brought against Boyle-Saxton, the daughter of well-known attorney Gerald Boyle. She is currently barred from practicing in front of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals after she abandoned a client and did not respond to a judge’s order to show cause.
Reached Tuesday, Boyle-Saxton said she received the most recent complaint Friday by mail but had not yet read it.
She conceded that she did not properly handle the case in front of the appeals court, but added that many of her recent misconduct charges stem from cases she handled between 2009 and this year. In that time, Boyle-Saxton said, she has been dealing with severe medical problems, which she said the OLR has not taken into consideration.
“There is a need to handle things,” she said, “and I was doing my best to handle not only the medical issues and also a workload but also a family.”
Keith Sellen, the OLR’s director, declined to comment on Boyle-Saxton’s case Wednesday afternoon, instead saying that he “probably should not respond other than on the record in the proceedings.”
Boyle-Saxton also said the clients named in the OLR’s complaints represent a very small fraction of the thousands she has represented since starting to practice law in 1995. She said many may have brought complaints because they were dissatisfied with the outcome of their cases.
“I’m still trying to assist people from years ago pro bono and if somebody wants to take … seven to 10 names of the 5,000 plus I’ve represented, so be it,” she said. “I just have to deal with it and will deal with it.”
Boyle-Saxton also was suspended from practicing law for 60 days last year after being found guilty of committing 11 counts of misconduct, including failure to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client, failure to cooperate with an OLR investigation and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
She also has two separate pending cases stemming from OLR complaints that were filed in 2011 and 2012.
The newest complaint states that Boyle-Saxton also failed to provide information to the OLR when they were looking into misconduct allegations.
She is also charged with mishandled money from five clients by not putting their payments into separate trust accounts.
Boyle-Saxton was privately reprimanded in 2008 for not filing a writ for 11 months, as well as failing to respond to the same client’s calls, emails and letters for more than 20 months, the complaint states.