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Tomahawk attorney’s license suspended over trust account violations

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has suspended the license of a Tomahawk attorney for multiple trust account violations.

James Runyon earned his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1978. His license was suspended for one year in 1984 for withholding client fees from his law firm and lying about those fees in a testimony at a John Doe proceeding, according to court documents. He was also privately reprimanded in 2006.

Thursday’s discipline stems from a March 23 Office of Lawyer Regulation complaint alleging six counts of trust account violations, including overdrawing his trust account, failing to maintain client ledgers and depositing money from his trust account into his personal bank account.

The court noted that no clients were harmed because Runyon used personal money to balance his overdrawn trust account, but the court said that did not excuse his behavior.

The OLR, in its complaint, asked the court to suspend Runyon’s license for 60 days, and it agreed Thursday.

“The OLR deems suspension warranted in this case because Attorney Runyon was, at the least, extremely reckless with managing his trust account,” wrote the court in its per curiam decision.

Runyon could not be immediately reached Thursday.

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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