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High court doles out less discipline for Lake Geneva lawyer

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has declined to adopt a recommendation that it suspend a Lake Geneva attorney’s license three times longer than what lawyer-regulators had requested.

Friday’s disciplinary measure stems from a complaint filed in March against David Schiltz of Schiltz Law Office.

The Office of Lawyer Regulation had alleged that Schlitz broke 19 attorney-ethics rules and asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to suspend his license for 6 months. Later, the agency added six more rule violations to the complaint but did not change its request for discipline.

Although Schiltz was served the complaint, he never responded – and never appeared at a hearing on the OLR’s motion for default judgment.

The referee in the case, the retired judge Dennis Flynn, granted the OLR’s motion in August and recommended that Schiltz’s license be suspended for a year and half. Flynn also recommended that Schiltz pay $3,305 worth of restitution to a client and complete 25 hours of continuing legal education concerning ethics and trust accounting.

Schiltz did not appeal Flynn’s decision.

The high court on Friday, however, decided to suspend Schiltz’s license for 9 months.

The justices wrote that given Schiltz’s lack of previous professional discipline, the 18-month suspension “seems high.”

On the other hand, the justices agreed with Flynn’s criticism of the OLR for requesting only a six-month suspension, calling the OLR’s request “insufficient.”

The court also adopted Flynn’s recommendations that Schiltz complete 25 hours of additional legal training in ethics and trust accounting and that he pay the restitution. The justices ordered Schiltz to pay the costs of the proceeding, which were $4,705.70 by Aug. 27.

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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