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Portage lawyer faced with suspension over complex trustee case

A Portage lawyer is faced with the suspension of his law license over 11 alleged violations of attorney-ethics rules for his actions in a complicated trustee case.

In an Office of Lawyer Regulation complaint filed in June, Douglas W. Kammer is accused of various violations related to his handling of a revocable trust established by a married couple in 2002. By October 2012, Kammer had begun representing the husband and wife in the case, helping them revise their estate plans and amend the trust.

The seeds of the conflict were planted in March 2014, when a separate guardian was brought in to represent the wife’s interests. That guardian filed a petition in July of that year asking that the husband be removed as a trustee and alleging conflicts of interest on Kammer’s part. Kammer, acting on the behalf of the husband, filed a petition asking a judge to appoint a successor trustee.

The husband later resigned as a trustee, and Kammer came to represent the successor trustee. On Nov. 17, 2014, a judge signed an order calling on Kammer to have no more involvement in the case, saying his representation of both the husband and the successor trustee had given rise to a conflict of interest.

Among other things, the OLR alleges that Kammer had provided legal services to the husband and the successor in the case without first obtaining the consent of the wife’s guardian; failed to comply with the court’s to cease representing the successor trustee without first obtaining the consent of the husband and wife; and made false statements to the Dane County Circuit Court and Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

Because of those alleged misdeeds and others, the OLR is asking that Kammer’s law license be suspended for six months.


About Dan Shaw, dshaw@wislawjournal.com

Dan Shaw is the managing editor at the Wisconsin Law Journal. He can be reached at dshaw@wislawjournal.com or at 414-225-1807.

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