A Milwaukee attorney is faced with a three-year suspension of his law license over 19 charges of alleged misconduct.
According to a 69-page complaint filed June 28 by the Office of Lawyer Regulation, Thomas Vaitys is faced with charges stemming from his representation of Thomas Agnello, who had hired Vaitys and another attorney, Thomas Napierala, in 2012 to challenge a mediation agreement and settlement in a estate matter in Milwaukee County. Vaitys and Napierala had worked at separate firms.
Twelve of the charges arise from Vaitys’ dealings with Agnello, who had cognitive and comprehension troubles, according to the complaint. The OLR alleges, among other things, that Vaitys fabricated records to hide that he had misused money he was supposed to be holding in trust for Agnello, failed to explain to Agnello in writing the reasons for his fee and the scope of his representation, failed to clearly tell Agnello what amounts he would be disbursing from the money Vaitys was holding in trust and failed to file briefs in the state Court of Appeals on time.
The remaining seven charges concern trust-account violations involving other clients’ money. Those violations were discovered using financial records the OLR had obtained from investigations of grievances expressed by Agnello and Napierala.
According to the allegations, Vaitys provided a fabricated transaction register to the OLR, deposited personal money into his trust account and failed to hold client and third party money in trust.
The OLR is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to suspend Vaitys’ license for three years and order Vaitys to pay more than $70,000 in restitution.
Vaitys, reached Friday, said he would comment at a later time. He has 21 days to respond to the complaint.
Vaitys, who has been admitted to practice law in Wisconsin since 2002, has never been disciplined. His license is active and in good standing, according to the Office of Lawyer Regulation and State Bar websites.
He earned his law degree from the Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Follow @erikastrebel