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Milwaukee attorney with series of ethics violations to be punished Wednesday

A Milwaukee criminal-defense attorney hit with a series of attorney-ethics violations will learn of his latest punishment next week.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is planning to release its decision on punishment for Peter Kovac on Wednesday. Kovac was charged by the Office of Lawyer Regulation with five attorney-ethics violations in October 2018. He is alleged to have failed to have a client sign a written fee agreement and to have refused to turn over case files in two matters. The OLR is asking for a six-month law license suspension as punishment.

At the time of those charges, Kovac was also defending himself from misconduct charges filed in 2016, less than a year after the justices had banned him from practicing law for 90 days for additional violations.

Kovac blamed the 2016 misconduct on “chronic debilitating illness, emergency heart surgery and a lack of support staff.” He then said the OLR wouldn’t get the five-month suspension it was seeking.

Beyond suspending Kovac’s license in 2016, the state Supreme Court publicly reprimanded him in 2008 and 2012.

Kovac, who earned his degree from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in Chicago, has been licensed to practice in Wisconsin since 1973.

About Michaela Paukner,

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

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