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Court suspends Wausau attorney’s license for not working on cases

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has suspended a Wausau attorney’s license for five months for not working on cases assigned to him by the State Public Defender.

Joseph Kaupie has been licensed to practice law in Wisconsin since 1999. He has no history of previous professional discipline. Kaupie’s license is suspended for failing to pay mandatory bar dues and for not cooperating with an Office of Lawyer Regulation investigation.

Wednesday’s discipline stems from an OLR complaint filed in October 2014. According to the complaint, Kaupie took on cases assigned to him by the SPD but either didn’t do any work on them or missed deadlines. Eventually, the cases were assigned to other attorneys, and Kaupie was suspended from taking public defender cases. The OLR asked that his license be suspended for six months for a total of 14 counts of misconduct.

According to Wednesday’s decision, Kaupie and the OLR reached a stipulation agreeing that the misconduct warranted a five month suspension. The referee agreed to the sanctions, noting that while Kaupie did prey on vulnerable, indigent clients, he had no disciplinary history and admitted fully to the misconduct.

The court agreed with the referee and ordered Kaupie to pay the full costs of the proceeding ($2,309).

Kaupie could not immediately be reached Wednesday.

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