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Arizona lawyer faces discipline in Wisconsin

An Arizona lawyer faces a public reprimand in Wisconsin over professional misconduct she was disciplined for in her home state.

A complaint filed on May 1 by the Office of Lawyer Regulation charged the Tuscon-area lawyer Stephanie Stoltman, of the Law Office of Stephanie C Stoltman, with one charge of misconduct. The agency alleges that Stoltman failed to notify the agency that she had been disciplined in 2010 and 2016 by the Arizona Supreme Court. Wisconsin Supreme Court rules require lawyers to report to the OLR, within 20 days, any out-of-state disciplinary measures they have been subjected to.

The Arizona court censured Stoltman in 2010 for failing to keep adequate trust-account records and overdrawing her trust account because of erroneous withdrawals and accounting errors, according to the complaint. Arizona has since revised its rules to rename censures public reprimands.

Stoltman contended that she had “math dyslexia,” which prevented her from reading numbers correctly, that she was working with an old software program and that she was “too busy and not paying attention,” according to a report by a hearing officer that presided over her disciplinary case in Arizona. Nevertheless, she consented to the discipline.

The Arizona high court also ordered Stoltman to return more than $1,000 to her trust account, attend a half-day Arizona State Bar trust-accounting seminar and allow her practice to be monitored for a year.

In 2016, the Arizona court again disciplined Stoltman. This time the court admonished, or privately reprimanded, Stoltman for holding an arbitration hearing but failing to enter an order or decision in the case, according to documents from the Supreme Court of Arizona. A court had appointed her to be the arbitrator. And when the court ordered Stoltman to explain why she did not take action in the arbitration, she failed to show up at the show-cause hearing.

The court also required Stoltman to again allow her practice to be monitored, this time for 18 months, and enroll in another bar program.

The OLR is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to impose a public reprimand on Stoltman as a reciprocal disciplinary action to the sanctions the Arizona Supreme Court imposed on her.

Stoltman, who earned her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1984, has not been previously disciplined by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, according to the OLR website. However, her license has been administratively suspended since October 2005 for failing to pay mandatory bar dues.

Stoltman could not be reached at the email address or phone number listed on the State Bar and OLR websites.

About Erika Strebel, [email protected]

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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