A Wausau attorney faces a public reprimand over allegations that he mishandled client money.
According to an Office of Lawyer Regulation complaint filed on Feb. 6, Jeffery Drach of Drach Elder Law Center, committed three counts of misconduct while handling the estate-planning affairs of a Marathon County couple.
Anita and Ray Pasholk sought Drach’s help in 2010 to redo their wills, as well as make sure their estate matters were in order, according to the complaint. In 2011, they signed three fee agreements with Drach for certain work to be done. In 2014, Ray Pasholk signed another fee agreement with Drach, through their son, who had power of attorney.
All four of the agreements were flat-fee agreements, but Drach instead charged the couple by the hour for the work his firm did, according to the complaint.
The OLR also alleges, among other things, that Drach double-charged the couple for some work, failed to explain in writing when his flat-fee estimate would turn into an hourly fee and withdrew certain fees from his trust account before he had earned them.
By the OLR’s count, the Pasholks paid more than $31,000 to Drach’s firm. The OLR asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court order Drach to pay $11,452.40 in restitution to the Pasholks’ estate.
The OLR is also asking that the court publicly reprimand Drach, meaning that while there would be no suspension of Drach’s license, the court would make its final decision in his disciplinary case available to the public and mail it to the Drach’s hometown newspaper.
Wausau attorney Dean Dietrich of Ruder Ware said on Friday he is representing Dietrich but declined to further comment on the case.
Drach, who earned his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1975, was publicly reprimanded in 2002 and privately reprimanded in 2008. His license is in good standing, according to the OLR and the State Bar websites.Follow @erikastrebel