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Eau Claire attorney faces 60-day suspension

An Eau Claire attorney faces a 60-day suspension of his license to practice law in Wisconsin over two counts of alleged misconduct.

James Moldenhauer earned his law degree from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minn., and has been licensed to practice law in Wisconsin since 1982. His license, according to the State Bar website, is in good standing.

According to a complaint filed Sept. 28 by the Office of Lawyer Regulation, Moldenhauer was hired in 2009 by a couple to represent them in a case before the state Tax Appeals Commission. Even so, Moldenhauer failed to appeal during a 2011 telephone conference, causing the appeal to be dismissed, according to the OLR.

Also, Moldenhauer did not inform his clients about the appeal’s dismissal and did not return his clients’ calls about the status of the case or about the result of the telephone conference, according to the complaint. The clients eventually decided, in 2012, to have Moldenhauer cease representing them and filed a malpractice and breach-of-contract lawsuit against him. The lawsuit was settled for $50,000.

Moldenhauer, reached Monday, declined to comment. His attorney in the case is Ross Anderson, with Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek SC in Milwaukee.

That is not Moldenhauer’s first run-in with the OLR. In 1996, he was privately reprimanded by the Wisconsin Supreme Court for neglecting a client in a probate matter, for improper communication and for a trust-account violation. The high court again disciplined him in 2006, publicly reprimanding him for misconduct involving two of his clients.

In 2008, the court publicly reprimanded him again, this time for his handling of an estate, for misconduct including disobeying a court order and for failing to act with due diligence. Moldenhauer was publicly reprimanded a third time in 2012 in another case involving an estate.


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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