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Attorney faces license revocation over 5 counts of misconduct

A Madison attorney’s license could be revoked over several allegations of misconduct, including that he took more than $1 million from companies in which he had ownership.

Patrick Sweeney, who practices in Madison, was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in 1992. His license has been suspended since November 2013 for failing to pay dues and not reporting continuing education requirements.

According to an Office of Lawyer Regulation complaint filed July 10, the misconduct stems from two client matters. The complaint alleges that Sweeney practiced while his license was suspend, appearing in court and filing motions in a case throughout December 2013.

The remaining misconduct involves three corporations in which Sweeney had part ownership, according to the complaint. The OLR alleges that in 2007 one of Sweeney’s friends and clients borrowed money from the corporations. Despite the conflict of interest, according to the OLR, Sweeney drafted, signed and guaranteed the friend’s promissory note to the corporations.

Later, according to the OLR, Sweeney took more than $1 million from the corporations for his personal use, but told partners he was loaning the money to the client. He took out $255,104 in his name, and then he took out another $788,935.19 under a different name.

And when Sweeney and his wife later filed bankruptcy in 2013, he refused to pay the filing fee, even when the U.S. Bankruptcy Clerk ordered him to do so.

Sweeney could not immediately be reached Friday.

The OLR is asking that the Wisconsin State Supreme Court revoke his license to practice law. Once he is served the complaint, he has 20 days to respond.

About Erika Strebel, [email protected]

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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