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Milwaukee attorney faces 3-year suspension for trust account violations

A Milwaukee attorney faces a three-year suspension of his license because of multiple alleged trust account violations.

Christopher Meisel graduated from Marquette University Law School in 1994. According to the State Bar website, his license is in good standing. He has no previous history of professional discipline.

An Office of Lawyer Regulation complaint filed March 10 accuses Meisel of 15 counts of misconduct regarding his administration of an estate and two guardianships.

A phone call to Meisel was not immediately returned Tuesday.

When Barbara Terry died on Oct. 16, 2008, Meisel was retained to pursue a wrongful death claim. According to the complaint, Meisel failed to place $50,003.29 in funds from the estate into its own trust, and instead deposited it into his own trust account, and used it to pay King Park Investment Co. LLC, in which Meisel held 50 percent ownership interest, and pay for other personal withdrawals. Also, according to the OLR, he deposited $47,244.20 in personal and law firm money into his trust account to replace the money he had converted from the Terry estate.

Meisel in 2007 was named the guardian of the estates of Daniela C. and Yesenia C., stepsisters whose parents died in a car accident in 2006. He established separate guardianship trust accounts for the sisters. According to the OLR complaint, between 2009 and 2013, Meisel converted and re-converted Daniela’s guardianship money for his own purposes, depositing $57,800.61 in King Park money and money from his trust account and that of Joseph Driear’s estate into Daniela’s account, and concealing the conversion and re-conversion of that $57,800.61.

He did similar improprieties with Yesenia’s account, according to the OLR. According to the OLR, Meisel also converted and  reconverted money from the account for his personal use between March 2009 and March 2012, depositing $70,056.12 in King Park money, money from his trust account and money from a different estate, and concealing that conversion.

He failed, according to the OLR, to disclose the withdrawals he made from both Daniela and Yesenia’s accounts in the final accounting of both guardianships with the Milwaukee County Register in Probate. The accounting also included account balances that were inflated to hide the conversions he made.

Also, according to the OLR, Meisel failed to maintain complete records of a trust account.


About Erika Strebel, erika.strebel@wislawjournal.com

Erika Strebel is the law beat reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal and a law school student at UW-Madison. She can be reached at 414-225-1825.

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