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Northern Wisconsin lawyer suspended for lying to employer has license reinstated

A northern Wisconsin attorney who saw her law license suspended for lying to her employer can legally practice law once again.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court reinstated Beth M. Bant’s law license on Jan. 26. Bant lost her license for six months starting in January 2020 for two attorney-ethics violations. The OLR accused her of lying to her employer about trip expenses and an assault that happened while at a legal conference. Bant denied the allegations, but she admitted to falsifying receipts for a different trip.

She filed a petition seeking reinstatement in June, and she had a hearing with a referee in October. The state Supreme Court’s opinion said Bant had told the referee that she had undergone a “six-month period of introspection” after being fired from her job and re-examined her career path. She decided to practice law in the small town of Phillips to provide a rural area with much-needed legal services.

The referee outlined a number of steps Bant has taken or plans to take to avoid ethical lapses, including having Attorney Dale Onchuck available as a resource. The referee described Bant’s behavior during her suspension as exemplary and recommended her for reinstatement.

“Ms. Bant became visibly emotional twice during the hearing while describing the effect the discipline has had on her and her family,” the referee’s report said. “… She testified that she would hold herself to a high standard in the future.”

The state Supreme Court agreed that Bant had established evidence to show she had satisfied all criteria necessary for reinstatement and ordered her license reinstated as of Jan. 26.

Bant must pay the costs of the reinstatement proceeding, which totaled $4,149.29 as of November 2020.

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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