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High court suspends Oak Creek attorney’s license

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has suspended the license of an Oak Creek attorney for six months.

Tuesday’s disciplinary action stems from a complaint the Office of Lawyer Regulation filed in December 2016 charging Karene Marchan with eight counts of misconduct, all which stem from her representation of a woman in a divorce case.

According to the complaint, Marchan failed to return more than $76,000 to the client despite being ordered to do so by a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge. The OLR also alleged that Marchan had charged unreasonable fees, made prohibited cash withdrawals from her trust account, failed to communicate with her client and failed to cooperate with the OLR’s investigation once the client had filed a grievance.

The OLR had initially asked the high court to suspend Marchan’s license for nine months and ordered her to pay more than $76,000 in restitution to her client.

Marchan later paid that amount to the client. She and the OLR then reached a stipulation in which the OLR walked back its request for restitution and agreed to a six-month license suspension.

The referee in the case, James Winiarski, filed a report in January recommending that the license suspension agreed upon by the parties be accepted. The six-month license suspension requires Marchan to petition the court for reinstatement before she can resume her practice.

The high court on Tuesday agreed with Winiarski’s recommendations, suspending Marchan’s license for six months and ordering her to pay the cost of the proceeding.

About Erika Strebel, erika.strebel@wislawjournal.com

Erika Strebel is the law beat reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal and a law school student at UW-Madison. She can be reached at 414-225-1825.

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