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High court publicly reprimands New Richmond attorney

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has publicly reprimanded a New Richmond attorney for five counts of misconduct, including practicing while his license was suspended and failing to respond to the Office of Lawyer Regulation.

Eric Crandall was suspended in May 2011 for failing to return unearned fees, failing to hold money in a trust account and not cooperating with an Office of Lawyer Regulation investigation. Yet, during that time he was listed as the lawyer in four cases pending in front of the Court of Appeals, according to a complaint filed by the OLR in October 2014.

He also did not respond to various requests from the OLR for information, and only responded when the office filed a request to have the Supreme Court issue an order to have him explain why his license should not be suspended, according to the complaint.

The OLR and a referee recommended that the Supreme Court publicly reprimand Crandall. The court agreed with the recommendations in a per curiam decision Wednesday. Justices Shirley Abrahamson and Ann Walsh Bradley dissented.

Abrahamson, in her dissent, wrote that the public reprimand did not adhere to the court’s policy of progressive discipline and was “too light” considering Crandall’s disciplinary history.

Crandall graduated from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn., in 1988 and was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in 1991. In addition to having been suspended in 2011, he was also suspended from practicing law for three months in 2006 as reciprocal discipline for a Minnesota case. Crandall was publicly reprimanded in 2008 for advancing a frivolous claim and was also suspended for 30 days that same year.

Crandall could not immediately be reached Wednesday.

The court on Wednesday also ordered Crandall to pay the full cost of the disciplinary proceeding, which is $4,182.17.

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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