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Court suspends former Doyle legal counsel’s law license for 1 year

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has suspended the law license of former Gov. Jim Doyle’s chief legal counsel and deputy chief of staff for one year.

Stanley Davis of The Davis Group was charged with 36 counts of professional misconduct between 2018 and 2019. The Office of Lawyer Regulation alleged that the Madison attorney took clients’ money without doing the work he had promised, lied to clients and continued practicing law while his license was suspended. The OLR amended its initial complaint twice, adding more charges each time.

The state Supreme Court suspended Davis’ law license in August 2018 for not cooperating with the OLR’s investigation into the misconduct. His law license was also administratively suspended in 2018 and 2019 because he hadn’t paid state bar dues, had failed to submit a trust account certification and hadn’t completed continuing-education requirements.

The opinion from the state Supreme Court said a referee described Davis as “absolutely uncooperative.” The referee said Davis didn’t respond to any of three filed complaints.

The referee recommended the court suspend Davis’ Wisconsin law license for one year, order him to pay restitution and assign him the costs of the proceeding.

The high court agreed with the recommendation and ordered Davis’ law license suspended for one year starting Friday. Davis must also pay $2,500 in restitution to a client, $3,750 to the Wisconsin Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection and $2,601.62 in costs of the proceeding.

As a condition of his reinstatement, Davis must prove that he’s made full restitution or settled all claims of everyone harmed by his misconduct. The opinion said the justices were concerned by the OLR’s statement that there was “no reasonably ascertainable amount of restitution” for Davis’ representation of five of his clients.

“We recognize that Attorney Davis’ utter refusal to cooperate with the OLR may account for this troubling conclusion,” the opinion said. “We emphasize that if Attorney Davis ever seeks reinstatement, he will be required to satisfy to this court that he has addressed the question of restitution.”

Davis is also the subject of another pending disciplinary matter alleging an additional 11 counts of misconduct. The opinion said after the court finalized its decision in this case, Davis filed a Petition for Revocation by Consent, seeking to resolve the matters together. The court dismissed the petition, saying Friday’s decision was imminent.

Davis did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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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