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Incarcerated attorney’s law license suspended for felony child neglect, OWI

A former Sheboygan attorney serving a prison sentence for felony child neglect will have his law license suspended for three years, despite concerns from the Wisconsin Supreme Court about an excessively long penalty.

Robert Horsch pleaded guilty to felony courts of child neglect and OWI after he was driving high on cough medication with five of his kids in the car. His 3-year-old and 22-month-old fell out of the van’s rear door without Horsch knowing, and he kept driving. A judge sentenced him to three years and six months in prison and five years of extended supervision for the crimes.

On Friday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court announced it would accept the Office of Lawyer Regulation’s recommendation of a three-year suspension, despite concerns that the suspension was excessively long.

“Attorney Horsch violated no practice norms, harmed no clients, and did not benefit from his misconduct,” the justices wrote. “He has been arrested, convicted, sentenced, and is incarcerated for his … actions.”

However, Horsch had stipulated to the OLR’s allegations, the alleged misconduct and a three-year law license suspension.

“We recognize that the three-year suspension to which the parties stipulated correlates roughly with the prison sentence imposed on Attorney Horsch,” the justices wrote. “A lengthy suspension is appropriate to ensure that Attorney Horsch is precluded from practicing law while incarcerated for a criminal conviction.”

The high court didn’t impose costs on Horsch because the matter was resolved by stipulation without a referee.

Horsch’s law license was suspended 2014 for failing to comply with continuing legal-education requirements, pay State Bar of Wisconsin dues and certify trust information. It was also suspended in 2017 for professional misconduct.

About Michaela Paukner, [email protected]

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at [email protected]

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