Wisconsin Supreme Court
Professional Responsibility — public reprimand
Where attorney Mark S. Tishberg failed to timely serve a defendant, and tried to hide his failure from his clients, a public reprimand is appropriate.
“With respect to the discipline to be imposed, we determine the appropriate level of discipline given the particular facts of each case, independent of the referee’s recommendation, but benefiting from it. See In re Disciplinary Proceedings Against Widule, 2003 WI 34, ¶44, 261 Wis. 2d 45, 660 N.W.2d 686. We agree with the referee that Attorney Tishberg’s misconduct warrants a public reprimand. Attorney Tishberg’s attempts to cover up the effects of his failure to timely serve J.D.’s and L.D.’s personal injury lawsuit were undeniably foolish. However, there is no evidence that Attorney Tishberg attempted or expected to obtain any personal gain as a result of his conduct. In addition, because Attorney Tishberg used his own retirement funds to pay J.D. and L.D. the apparent value of their personal injury claim plus their subsequent attorney fees, there was no monetary loss to the client. Attorney Tishberg cooperated completely in the investigation of this matter, has expressed genuine remorse for his misconduct, and has no previous history of misconduct. Under these circumstances, we are satisfied that a public reprimand of Attorney Tishberg is sufficient to impress upon him the seriousness of his professional misconduct and to protect the public from similar misconduct in the future.”
Attorneys: For Complainant: Weigel, William J., Madison; Bedker, William F., Watertown; For Respondent: Tishberg, Mark S., Milwaukee