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OLR asks for 60-day suspension as reciprocal discipline for lawyer’s disbarment

The Office of Lawyer Regulation is requesting a 60-day suspension as reciprocal discipline for an lawyer’s disbarment in Minnesota.

In 2018, the Supreme Court of Minnesota disbarred Joseph Capistrant for misappropriating client money, failing to perform work for a client, ignoring the client and not cooperating with the disciplinary process in Minnesota.

The justices said they typically disbarred attorneys who intentionally misappropriate money, and since Capistrant had previously been disciplined for similar misconduct, there were no substantial mitigating circumstances.

According to the OLR complaint filed on June 12, the OLR director determined Capistrant’s misconduct, under Wisconsin precedent, “justifies a substantially different level of discipline.”

The director is instead asking for a 60-day suspension of Capistrant’s law license as reciprocal discipline consistent with Wisconsin Supreme Court precedent and a $547 restitution payment to the client involved in the Minnesota disciplinary case.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended Capistrant’s law license for 90 days in 2015, and it was never reinstated. His Wisconsin law license has also been administratively suspended since 2012 for failing to comply with continuing legal-education requirements, pay state bar dues and file a trust-account certification.

Capistrant worked at Capistrant Law Office in Osseo, Minn. He was admitted to practice law in Minnesota in 1987 and in Wisconsin in 2007.

The phone number Capistrant has listed with the State Bar of Wisconsin is no longer associated with his law firm, and he could not be reached 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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