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Brookfield attorney faces 6 misconduct counts

A longtime Brookfield attorney allegedly kept more than $21,000 of client money without providing an explanation as to why.

Frederick Moegenburg faces six counts of misconduct. The Office of Lawyer Regulation, in a complaint filed Nov. 4, is asking the state Supreme Court to suspend his law license for two years.

The complaint centers around Moegenburg’s representation of Roger Laack, who hired the attorney in 2010 to handle matters regarding his hospitalization. Laack paid Moegenburg $47,000 for his representation, according to the complaint.

In December 2011, though, Laack terminated Moegenburg’s representation. He requested an invoice and a list of legal services provided but did not hear back.

Laack then sent a letter to Moegenburg in February 2012 that again reiterated that his services were not longer needed and that he wanted an itemized bill, according to the complaint. Moegenburg responded on March 1 that the bill would be delayed because his wife had to undergo emergency surgery, according to the complaint.

Eventually, Laack hired Wisconsin Rapids attorney Alan Panek. Panek sent two letters to Moegenburg in April, and Moegenburg did not respond until June. In the letters, he provided some explanation of what services he provided to Laack, and said he would send more, according to the complaint. However, he allegedly never did.

In July 2012, Laack filed a grievance with the OLR. When the OLR contacted Moegenburg, he provided some information about his representation. However, all of the requested information was never provided, and the OLR concluded that Moegenburg did about 57 hours of work and should be paid $8,550 for his time, according to the complaint. That meant Laack should have received a refund of $38,450.

According to the complaint, of the $38,450 that Moegenburg kept, at least $21,444.09 was transferred from the trust account to his personal account.

The OLR is also asking the court to order Moegenburg to pay restitution to Laack.

Moegenburg graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1954. His license has been suspended since November 2013 for not paying dues and not having his trust account certified by the OLR. However, during the case, he indicated in a February 2013 letter that he was retiring from practicing law.

He was privately reprimanded in 2003 for having relations with a client, failing to hold client money in a trust account and not providing competent representation.

He could not immediately be reached for comment.

If the Supreme Court hands down the requested suspension, Moegenburg would have to petition the court to have his license reinstated.

About Eric Heisig

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