An attorney faces a six-month suspension of his law license for allegedly practicing with a suspended license, mishandling money intended for his clients and failing to communicate with those clients.
According to the State Bar and Wisconsin Court System websites, Amoun Sayaovong’s work address is in St. Paul, Minn. According to the Office of Lawyer Regulation, the address does not exist. But he has a website and phone number that place him in Milwaukee.
Sayaovong was publicly reprimanded in 2014 for mishandling immigration and Social Security cases. His license has been suspended since Feb. 19, 2014, for not cooperating in an Office of Lawyer Regulation investigation of a grievance related to the complaint filed against him. He also has not paid mandatory bar dues or fulfilled continuing legal education requirements, according to the State Bar website.
The OLR complaint filed Monday alleges six counts of misconduct involving three of Sayaovong’s clients and asks that the state Supreme Court suspend his license for six months.
Sayaovong could not be immediately reached by email or phone Thursday.
According to the complaint, Sayaovong represented two clients in an accident lawsuit, in which a $6,500 judgment, including $500 in attorney’s fees, was awarded to his clients in November 2010. The judgment was to be collected by garnishing the defendant’s wages starting in June 2011. The checks were sent to Sayaovong, but he did not notify his clients, according to the complaint, though he did periodically issue checks to them.
As of May 2012, the clients stopped received regular payments. The defendant lost his job in July 2012, but agreed to continue making payments to Sayaovang, but again, Sayavong did not communicate this to his clients until more than a month after he made the agreement.
In September 2012, Sayavong sent the clients a check for payments from May through August of 2012 and told his clients that he was negotiating to have them paid directly, but the clients never received those payments, according to the OLR. Sayaovang also did not respond to the emails and letters from the clients, and when he did he wrote that he was waiting for information from the defendant.
The clients asked for an accounting of the money he had received from the defendant, but Sayaovong never sent it. The clients filed a grievance with the OLR. The OLR attempted to contact Sayaovong at several addresses and emailed him, but he did not respond. There were also attempts to personally serve Sayavong, but they were unsuccessful. The Supreme Court then suspended his license after he failed to respond to an order to show cause.
The complaint also alleges that Savaovang practiced while his license was administratively suspended. In October 2013, his license was administratively suspended for failing to pay mandatory bar fees. The suspension remains in effect.
In December 2013, Savaovang contacted opposing counsel on behalf of a client in a small claims case. In January 2014, Savaovang and that attorney drafted a stipulation to settle the lawsuit. After receiving the stipulation, the attorney discovered that Sayaovang’s license was suspended, and he filed a grievance against him with the OLR. The OLR attempted to contact Sayaovang about the grievance, but he did not respond, according to the complaint.
Once he is served, Sayaovang has 20 days to respond to the OLR’s complaint.
Sayaovong graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 2006 and was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in 2007.Follow @erikastrebel