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Court suspends Milwaukee attorney for mishandling public defender cases

Court suspends Milwaukee attorney for mishandling public defender cases

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has suspended the license of a Milwaukee attorney for mishandling four public defender cases.

Tuesday’s discipline stems from an Office of Lawyer Regulation complaint filed in March alleging six counts of misconduct involving four cases that Diane Caspari had taken on for the State Public Defender.

The OLR alleged she had, among other things, billed the SPD for work she did not do, failed to deliver a case file to counsel that was taking over a case, lied to a judge and failed to file timely post-conviction appeals.

In the complaint, the OLR asked the justices to suspend Caspari’s license for 60 days.

Caspari, who has been licensed to practice in Wisconsin since 2004, reached a stipulation with the OLR, admitting to all the misconduct in the complaint and agreeing to the discipline the OLR had suggested.

The court on Tuesday agreed to that discipline, suspending Caspari’s license for 60 days. Because Caspari recently refunded the SPD for the amount she had overbilled the agency over the years, the justices did not order her to pay restitution.

Tuesday’s discipline was not the first time the justices had disciplined Caspari. The court privately reprimanded her in 2015 for failing to tell a client about the status of his case and failing to refund fees she had charged even though she did not do any work for the client before he fired her.

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