The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently suspended the license of a Walworth County attorney.
The disciplinary action on Thursday stems from a complaint the Office of Lawyer Regulation filed in 2017 against Patrick Hudec, who practices in East Troy.
Hudec violated six attorney-ethics rules while handing cases in Waukesha and Walworth counties, according to the OLR. Among other things, the OLR alleged that Hudec failed to enter a written-fee agreement with a client and failed to keep a client reasonably informed about a case.
The OLR had sought a 60-day suspension of Hudec’s license. Hudec, who is representing himself, filed an answer to those charges, denying that he had committed any misconduct.
However, he later appeared to reach a stipulation with the OLR in which he did not contest the misconduct allegations, agreed to the proposed license suspension and agreed to pay a more-than-$9,000 judgment from a lawsuit a client filed against him in the Waukesha County case.
Hudec attempted to take back the stipulation but relented after the referee appointed to the case, Rick Esenberg, wrote in an order that any hearing in the case would not be rescheduled unless there was good cause.
In a report filed in January, Esenberg recommended that the high court accept the stipulation. He noted that Hudec’s misconduct was serious and warranted more than a reprimand, which is a warning, because Hudec had already been reprimanded twice for similar misconduct.
The justices on Thursday took Esenberg’s recommendations. Hudec’s license suspension starts May 30. They also ordered him to pay $4,319.04, which was the cost of the proceedings by Jan. 24. In order to be reinstated, Hudec will also have to pay the $9,000 judgment. Follow @erikastrebel