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Referee: Lawyer ‘thumbing his nose’ at high court

A referee is recommending that the Wisconsin Supreme Court revoke a Green Bay attorney’s license and order him to pay $40,000 worth of restitution.

The recommendation stems from a complaint filed in March charging Paul Boltz of the Green Bay-based firm Boltz Law Offices with 10 counts of misconduct stemming from his dealings with a client he represented in a divorce proceeding in Kewaunee County and a client who hired him to represent her in a small-claims case out of Brown County.

According to the allegations, he made off with $40,000 worth of retirement money he was supposed to be holding in his trust account for a client and he flouted more than one court order calling on him to deliver the money to opposing counsel.

The OLR is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to revoke Boltz’s law license and pay $40,000 worth of restitution.

Boltz never answered the complaint or showed up for the hearing in his case.

The referee in the case, Robert Kinney, filed a report in September finding that Boltz was in default, that all the allegations in the OLR’s complaint were true and that Boltz had committed misconduct. He recommended that the high court revoke Boltz’s license and order him to pay the restitution the OLR was asking for.

In his report, Kinney noted that one of the aggravating considerations in Boltz’s case was his refusal to cooperate with the OLR both when it was investigating his conduct and during his disciplinary proceeding.

Kinney said that, during the investigation, Boltz tried to excuse himself for failing to pay the $40,000 worth of restitution ordered by the court by saying he had run out of checks for his trust account.

“He told adverse counsel that he told the judge that,” Kinney wrote. “He actually said that to the OLR as if that was some kind of excuse. A rather stunning excuse. I have not frequently heard such a poor one.”

Kinney also noted that despite having been suspended by the high court in January, he recorded an appearance in court in Sheboygan County using a different address.

“It is an outrageous situation in which it is apparent that Mr. Boltz is completely thumbing his nose at the Wisconsin Supreme Court,” Kinney wrote.

Kinney also considered Boltz’s experience in legal practice an aggravating consideration. Boltz received his law degree in 1992 from Hamline University School of Law

“You look at the present situation as described in this complaint portrays a deficient value system from which the public needs to be protected,” Kinney wrote.

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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