An attorney known for defending the convicted serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer again faces suspension of his law license over charges that include failing to produce bank-account records to investigators and failing to submit fee disputes to arbitration.
According to an Office of Lawyer Regulation complaint, Gerald Boyle committed six counts of misconduct connected with his representation of two clients who were defendants in criminal cases in Kenosha and Brown counties.
Boyle was not available for comment on Monday.
Boyle had practiced with a firm in Milwaukee but now has a solo practice in Mequon, according to the complaint.
The OLR alleges that in the case of the Kenosha County defendant, the defendant’s mother hired Boyle in 2013 to represent her son, paying Boyle $8,000 in cash. According to the OLR, the mother never signed or received a required fee agreement with Boyle, and Boyle deposited the money into a non-trust account.
The OLR alleges the defendant’s family paid Boyle at least $10,000 in cash for legal services. After the defendant pleaded guilty in 2015 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 13 years of extended supervision, Boyle withdrew his representation and never provided the family with a required final account and notice involving fee arbitration, according to the complaint.
The mother filed a grievance with the OLR, which requested bank records from Boyle as well as an explanation concerning whether Boyle had sent an account of the transactions to the mother. Boyle failed to respond, according to the complaint.
In the case of the Brown County defendant, the defendant’s father hired Boyle in 2013 to represent the defendant in post-conviction matters. The father gave Boyle a $15,000 cashier’s check to cover the entire representation, which the OLR alleged Boyle deposited into his personal checking account.
In 2013, the father fired Boyle and challenged the attorney’s fees and asked for an account of the transactions. Boyle did not provide the father with the requested account nor did he give the father required notices about binding arbitration, the OLR alleges. Boyle also did not refund any unearned fees, according to the complaint.
The father filed a grievance with the OLR, which asked Boyle to send the relevant bank statements. Boyle responded but produced no statements, despite the OLR’s repeated requests for them.
The OLR is asking that the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspend Boyle’s license for 60 days and order him to either provide proof that he has submitted the fee dispute involving the Brown County defendant to arbitration through the State Bar or inform the OLR that he and the defendant’s father have reached a final settlement over the fee dispute.
Boyle, who earned his law degree from Marquette University Law School, has been licensed to practice in Wisconsin since 1962.
This is not Boyle’s first encounter with the OLR. The Wisconsin Supreme Court publicly reprimanded him in 2002, 2009 and 2012. The justices also suspended Boyle’s license in 2015 for 60 days for failing to communicate with clients, failing to cooperate with the OLR, failing to deposit payments into his trust account, failing to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations had run out and for failing to provide competent representation.