A Milwaukee family lawyer faces a four-month suspension of his license.
An Office of Lawyer Regulation complaint filed Feb. 12 alleges attorney Thor Templin committed 12 counts of misconduct involving his representation of four clients.
Five of the misconduct counts stem from a grievance filed by Mark Sherlock, the ex-husband of Joan Sherlock, one of Templin’s clients. The Sherlocks’ divorce was granted on July 31, 2008. Templin represented Joan Sherlock starting Dec. 30, 2008.
On Aug. 27, 2011, three years after the divorce judgment, Templin filed a motion challenging Mark Sherlock’s financial disclosures, which should have been filed a year after the divorce. A family court commissioner, according to the complaint, determined the motion was frivolous and not timely filed. The motion was dismissed.
Templin then filed a motion on Nov. 11, 2011, for another hearing. Judge Wilbur Warren II denied Templin’s motion to reopen the divorce judgment and Joan Sherlock’s request to modify the property division and support. Warren on Sept. 10, 2011, ordered Templin and Joan Sherlock to pay $6,526.22 in attorney’s fees to Mark Sherlock within 30 days.
Joan Sherlock tried to discharge the fees when she filed for bankruptcy on April 20. On Sept. 26, she fired Templin. The 2012 order still had not been paid.
According to the OLR, Templin knowingly filed motions for relief from a divorce judgment years after the time limits passed, advanced unwarranted arguments under existing law, violated a court order and took multiple actions that he knew would harass and injure another party.
Three counts of misconduct involved Artistis Hall, who lost his parental rights to his son and had tried to appeal for his rights to be reinstated. Hall met with Templin on Jan. 4, 2013, and paid him $300 to review his case for a possible review by the Supreme Court. Hall believed he had until Jan. 7, 2013, to file, but the filing deadline was Jan. 4, 2013. Templin took the money, according to the complaint, and did not advise Hall that nothing could be done after the Jan. 4, 2013, deadline.
Hall attempted to reach Templin in January and February 2013. Templin did not inform Hall that nothing could be done in his case until March 2013. Hall also filed a grievance against Templin.
One count of misconduct stems from Templin’s representation of Victoria Kirby, who hired him in May 2013 to file paperwork for her divorce.
According to the OLR, the paperwork for the divorce pleadings was rejected three times by the Racine County clerk. Kirby fired Templin via email on July 22, 2013, according to the complaint.
The remaining three counts of misconduct involve Charles Brockmeyer, a veteran who was injured in a 2008 car crash and who, after payments made by Veterans Administration, owed Froedert Memorial Lutheran Hospital $79,442.07.
Brockmeyer hired Templin to help him respond to a complaint Froedert filed against him in Milwaukee County Circuit Court on Aug, 28, 2012. Templin filed an answer on Sept. 24, 2012, and the court imposed deadlines for completing mediation, discovery, identifying witnesses and filing amendments to pleadings.
According to the complaint, Templin never communicated with Froedert’s attorneys about mediation and never submitted a witness list for Brockmeyer. He filed a third party summons and complaint against the VA, but the VA was never successfully served. Templin also did not file a response to Froedert’s motion for summary judgment.
That motion was granted, and on May 7, 2013, the court ordered Brockmeyer to pay Froedert $80,271.07.
According to the OLR, Templin did not adequately advise Brockmeyer about the motion for summary judgment and his legal options regarding that motion. Brockmeyer, according to the complaint, did not hear from Templin after April 24, 2013, when the motion for summary judgment was filed.
In 2014, Brockmeyer filed for bankruptcy, and Froedert’s court order was discharged, according to the OLR.
The OLR is recommending that the state Supreme Court suspend Templin’s license for four months, that he pay $500 in restitution to two of his clients and that he complete six hours of continuing legal education concentrating on civil procedure and appellate practice, according to the complaint.
He could not be immediately reached Monday.
Templin earned his law degree from Marquette University Law School and has been licensed to practice law in Wisconsin since 2008. Templin was privately reprimanded in 2011 for failing to communicate with a client. Follow @erikastrebel