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Attorney faces discipline over misconduct in Minn.

A Minnesota attorney is facing discipline in Wisconsin after his Minnesota law license was suspended.

The Office of Lawyer Regulation filed a complaint Nov. 13, asking that the Wisconsin Supreme Court discipline Scott Selmer, who practices in Minnesota, for failing to notify the OLR that the Minnesota Supreme Court suspended his license in July. The OLR is also asking the court to impose reciprocal discipline for the conduct that resulted in his Minnesota suspension.

Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct require that attorneys report professional discipline in other states within 20 days of the discipline’s effective date.

Selmer could not be immediately reached Friday by the telephone number or email listed with the State Bar.

His Minnesota license was suspended for 12 months for misconduct he committed while handling suits and countersuits related to when he led the St. Paul Urban League from 2008 to 2011. According to the Minnesota Supreme Court, he failed to follow court orders, refused to comply with discover requests and engaged in harassing and frivolous litigation.

Selmer, who practices in Minneapolis, earned his degree from the University of Wisconsin law School in 1975, and was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in 1978. His license is currently suspended in Wisconsin for failing to pay bar dues and failing to report completing legal education requirements.

Selmer has had an extensive history of professional discipline in Wisconsin. He was publicly reprimanded in 1990 and 2009 for conduct such as failing to provide a client with an accounting of the money he received on her behalf and then suing her for an unreasonable fee. Selmer was privately reprimanded in 1990 for practicing while his license was suspended for failing to meet continuing education requirements. In 1999, his license was suspended for one year for “frivolous and harassing conduct” that involved countersuing his creditors for racial discrimination and offering false evidence.

Selmer has also been disciplined in Minnesota, where he was admitted to the bar in 1984. He was publicly reprimanded in 1995 and 2008 for failing to pay a judgment against himself, failing to file tax returns and failing to properly maintain trust accounts and other records.

In 1995, the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed an admonition for charging a client for the cost of copying a file before returning that file to a client after Selmer had been discharged from representing that client. In 1997, Selmer was suspended for harassing and frivolous litigation and making false statements in discovery requests from 1983 to 1995.

Selmer has said that his legal troubles have forced him to retire from practicing law, that he has been “basically homeless” for several years and struggled to find a job, according to Minnesota Lawyer, a sister publication of the Wisconsin Law Journal.


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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