A Beloit attorney has agreed to give up his law license after the Office of Lawyer Regulation opened 11 investigations against him.
Pablo Carranza filed a petition for consensual revocation with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, saying he could not defend himself against the allegations brought against him. On Thursday, the Supreme Court accepted that petition.
“The seriousness of Attorney Carranza’s misconduct demonstrates the need to revoke his law license to protect the public, the courts, and the legal system from the repetition of misconduct; to impress upon Attorney Carranza the seriousness of his misconduct; and to deter other attorneys from engaging in similar misconduct,” the court wrote in its per curiam decision.
In its decision, the court lists the misconduct that Carranza committed while practicing. Each case follows a similar pattern: A client would hire and pay Carranza to do work. Then Carranza would not answer messages to call or follow through on the cases.
According to the decision, Carranza closed an office he had in 2010 and did not tell his clients. There are several people who paid him money but Carranza never provided an accounting for his work or the amount paid.
His law license was suspended in September 2013 for not paying dues and not cooperating with the OLR’s investigation. He did not inform several clients of this, according to the decision, nor did he respond to the OLR’s request for information in the cases against him.
In total, the OLR’s Preliminary Review Committee found enough evidence to proceed with 38 counts of misconduct against Carranza. There were also two open cases that had not yet been fully investigated by the OLR, according to the decision.
In addition to the suspension, Carranza was ordered to pay $800 in restitution for two client matters. Even though other people reported losing money, the court said no accounting was submitted, so it is not possible to tell whether Carranza earned the fees.
Carranza graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2005. He could not immediately be reached for comment.
Once an attorney’s license is revoked, he or she has to wait at least five years to petition the court to have it reinstated. According to the court, if Carranza wants his license back, he “shall furnish a complete accounting and prove that he has settled all claims related to funds potentially owed to his former clients.”
In a concurrence, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley said she would have ordered Carranza to pay restitution to everyone named as a victim in the majority’s decision.Follow @eheisigWLJ