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Walworth County lawyer with long disciplinary history to be punished again

A Walworth County lawyer is on his way to receiving his seventh disciplinary action from the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The high court is scheduled to release an opinion on Thursday in an Office of Lawyer Regulation case against Patrick Hudec, a real estate attorney at Hudec Law Offices in East Troy.

The OLR charged Hudec with three trust-account violations after receiving multiple overdraft notices from Hudec’s bank. He also is faced with a fourth misconduct charge for failing to send a timely response to an OLR investigation.

Attorney John Payette, the referee in the case, said Hudec pleaded no contest to the misconduct in a stipulation. As punishment, Hudec and the OLR requested a 60-day law license suspension and trust-account training.

Payette asked both parties to provide further argument on the appropriate discipline because of Hudec’s previous disciplinary history. Hudec lost his license for 60 days in 2019 and has been publicly reprimanded twice and privately reprimanded three times for misconduct.

The OLR filed a memorandum in response to Payette’s request, but Hudec did not respond. Payette called Hudec’s history of failing to respond to the OLR investigations bothersome and deliberate violations of disciplinary rules.

“Collectively, it is quite apparent to me that the respondent does not take OLR investigations seriously and that he willfully fails to cooperate in such investigations until faced with a temporary license suspension,” Payette wrote.

Payette ultimately recommended a 60-day suspension for the trust-account violations. He said the violations didn’t result in any losses for Hudec’s clients and appeared to be the first-trust related misconduct in Hudec’s disciplinary history. Payette said given Hudec’s age and experience as an attorney, he should have known better.

“It is difficult for me to determine why such trust account violations occurred,” Payette wrote. “Laziness, not caring, or thinking such sloppiness would never be detected all come to mind.”

Hudec was admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin in 1979.


About Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at mpaukner@wislawjournal.com.

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