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Home / Legal News / Whistleblower attempt results in 18-month Wis. license suspension for Va. lawyer

Whistleblower attempt results in 18-month Wis. license suspension for Va. lawyer

A Virginia lawyer disciplined for sharing confidential information about a nonprofit group under government investigation is receiving reciprocal punishment in Wisconsin.

On Sept. 29, the Wisconsin Supreme Court announced an 18-month law license suspension for Jean M. Robinson, an attorney who practiced in Lorton, Virginia.

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals suspended Robinson’s license in 2019 for intentionally prejudicing her client by revealing confidential information. According to an Office of Lawyer Regulation complaint, she had shared information about SourceAmerica, a nonprofit that was under government investigation, with the intent of assisting federal inspectors.

Robinson and the District of Columbia Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed an amended petition seeking negotiated discipline, resulting in an 18-month license suspension.

In the petition, Robinson said she was sorry and accepted responsibility for her misconduct.

“In addition, the petition stated that although Attorney Robinson made disclosures in violation of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct, those disclosures appear to have been largely grounded in
a sincere belief that she was correcting what she perceived to be inappropriate conduct by certain SourceAmerica representatives, rather than out of any personal or pecuniary interest,” the Wisconsin Supreme Court opinion said.

The Wisconsin justices granted Robinson’s unopposed motion to make the effective date of her Wisconsin suspension coterminous with the imposed date of the appellate court’s suspension, which was June 3, 2019.Jea

Robinson was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in 1985. Her Wisconsin law license was suspended once before in 1987 for one year.

A representative of Robinson’s practice took a message seeking comment on the decision and said Robinson would return the call. She has not provided further comment at this time.

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