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Milwaukee attorney says illness, lack of staff contributed to misconduct

A Milwaukee attorney is contending that lawyer-regulators failed to take into account certain mitigating factors before charging him for misconduct.

According to an Office of Lawyer Regulation complaint filed Dec. 29, Milwaukee-based criminal-defense attorney Peter Kovac is alleged to have broken several rules of professional conduct while representing three clients in criminal matters.

The allegations included that Kovac ignored client requests for information, failed to turn over a client’s file and failed to take action on behalf of his clients. The OLR is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to suspend Kovac’s license for five months.

Kovac has said that the misconduct was a result of medical troubles he was having and that, because of those, the OLR would not get the level of discipline it is seeking.

In a response filed on June 7, Kovac admitted to some of the misconduct he had been charged with but noted that the OLR had failed to take into account that he had undergone “chronic debilitating illness, emergency heart surgery and a lack of support staff.”

Kovac is representing himself in his case.

This is not Kovac’s first run-in with the OLR. The high court publicly reprimanded him in 2008 and 2012, and his license was suspended for 90 days in July last year.

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