The Wisconsin Supreme Court has suspended the license of a Milwaukee attorney over misconduct involving clients he had represented in federal and state criminal proceedings.
Friday’s discipline of Peter Kovac stems from an Office of Lawyer Regulation complaint filed in 2015, alleging seven counts of misconduct involving two clients and asking the court to suspend his license for 60 days.
The justices, however, chose on Friday to instead go with a 90-day suspension. Their decision followed recommendations made by an independent referee, who had asked for the additional 30 days given that Kovac had already been publicly reprimanded, in 2008 and 2012, for similar misconduct. Kovac defaulted in both disciplinary cases, failing to respond to the complaints and provide any explanations for his conduct.
Kovac, who was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in 1973, was also found in default Friday because he took no proper action in response to the latest round of allegations. He failed, for instance, to submit an answer to the OLR’s complaint and to present a defense at the disciplinary proceedings.
The high court on Friday said in its decision that it, like the referee, is concerned that Kovac will respond appropriately to the previous discipline and will continue to fail to diligently represent criminal defendants and continue to disregard the OLR.
The justices also ordered Kovac to cover the cost of the proceeding, which was $1,824.83.