The Wisconsin Supreme Court is suspending the Milwaukee attorney Diane Caspari’s law license for keeping payments that should have gone to a doctor hired in two State Public Defender cases.
Caspari stipulated to three counts of misconduct related to failing to make payments to Clinical Psychology Associates. Caspari hired Dr. David Thompson and his office to conduct two evaluations in two SPD cases. According to the stipulation, she received payment from the state for Thompson’s services in 2016, but she never gave them to the doctor.
Thompson contacted the SPD about the missing payments in 2017, and Caspari then proposed a payment plan to cover the nearly $5,000 owed. She made two $50 payments over two years, but she did not pay any more of the amount owed.
At the time of the misconduct, Caspari said she was suffering from severe anxiety and chronic depression, which was causing severe emotional dysfunction. She said she was getting medical help for the conditions, and the high court recognized her mental health issues in its decision.
“In mitigation of her misconduct, the OLR says Attorney Caspari has been cooperative in the investigation and prosecution of this matter,” the opinion said. “She has shown remorse. She has acknowledged her misconduct and entered into the stipulation.”
On Thursday, the state Supreme Court determined a 90-day suspension was appropriate punishment for the misconduct and also ordered Caspari to pay $4,862.50 in restitution to Thompson.
This is Caspari’s third discipline from the state Supreme Court. She saw her law license suspended for 60 days in 2016 for mishandling other public defender cases. She was also privately reprimanded in 2015 for charging a client for work she didn’t do and failing to refund the fees upon the termination of representation.
Caspari said she had no comment on the court’s decision when reached by phone on Friday.Follow @WLJReporter