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Justices suspend ex-Foley partner’s license

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has suspended the license of a former partner at Foley & Lardner.

The disciplinary action on Tuesday stems from an Office of Lawyer Regulation complaint filed on June 25 alleging that Adam Wiensch had committed 13 counts of misconduct while handling an Internal Revenue Service audit of a client’s estate. He was then a partner at Foley.

The OLR alleged that Wiensch violated attorney-ethics rules that prohibit dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; obstructing a party’s access to evidence and unlawfully altering documents; and knowingly making false statements of material fact to the IRS.

The OLR is also alleging that Wiensch breached the fiduciary duties and duty of honesty he owed to his firm by failing to disclose to Foley that he had drafted false documents and then submitted those documents to the IRS.

The OLR had asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to suspend Wiensch’s license for two years.

Wiensch and the OLR reached a stipulation in August in which Wiensch admitted to the allegations of misconduct and agreed to the OLR’s request that his license be suspended for two years.

In the stipulation, Wiensch stated that he had no defense for the misconduct allegations and noted that, while he committed the misconduct, he was grappling with clinical depression and an uncontrolled alcohol dependency. He said he is now sober and getting treatment.

The justices accepted the stipulation, noting that Wiensch’s deceptions of both the IRS and his firm went on for several years.

“Attorney Wiensch was an experienced attorney who should have known better,” the court wrote. “His misconduct harmed his clients and his law firm and, as the OLR noted, it undermined public confidence in the credibility of the legal system.”

The court suspend Wiensch’s license for two years but did not order Wiensch to cover the costs of the proceedings because the matter was resolved without the appointment of a referee.

Wiensch’s license suspension starts on Nov. 27.

About Erika Strebel,

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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