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Professional Responsibility — Suspension

Wisconsin Supreme Court

Professional Responsibility — Suspension

Where attorney John J. Carter lied to and misappropriated funds from a client, a three-year suspension is appropriate.

“We pause to remark briefly on Attorney Carter’s claim that at his age (he was born in 1943), a three-year suspension——which will require him to petition this court for reinstatement under SCR 22.28(3)——might effectively end his career. Attorney Carter generally maintains that it is sad for an otherwise untarnished career to potentially end this way. We agree with this sentiment: this is an unfortunate case involving anomalous behavior from an otherwise ethical lawyer, and we do not relish deciding it. But we decline to transform this sentiment into anything more than what it is——a sentiment, not a principle of law. This court cannot countenance a rule that would soft-pedal the discipline owed to attorneys who lie to and misappropriate funds from their clients so long as they do so in the twilight of their careers.”

2012AP1827-D OLR v. Carter

Per Curiam.

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