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Winnebago County attorney faced with 3rd suspension in 4 years

A Winnebago County attorney could see her law license suspended for the third time in four years.

The Office of Lawyer Regulation filed a complaint on June 29 detailing seven counts of alleged misconduct by Melinda Alfredson of Omro. This is the third disciplinary action filed against her in the last four years, and it could result in a year-long suspension.

The complaint involves Alfredson’s representation of Linda Pristelski, who hired Alfredson in 2018 to prepare a power of attorney, reclaim funds allegedly owed to Pristelski’s son and answer Pristelski’s questions about a criminal case involving her son. Alfredson received a $1,500 advanced fee, which the OLR said came without a written fee agreement and went into Alfredson’s account, rather than a trust account.

Alfredson worked on Pristelski’s legal matters while her law license was suspended, according to the complaint. In one instance, the OLR said Alfredson misled Pristelski about an administrative suspension by telling her that she was in court with other clients.

“During the OLR’s investigation, Alfredson attempted to explain her misleading Pristelski to think she was in court with other clients,” the complaint said. “Alfredson stated to OLR, ‘During my suspension, I routinely went and sat in court hearings in Portage and Sheboygan Counties. Specifically these counties because I do not really know anyone there.'”

The complaint said Alfredson also told Pristelski that she had filed a case in small-claims court for Pristelski’s son, even though she hadn’t actually filed the case.

The OLR charged her for failing to communicate with Pristelski and keep her informed, misleading Pristelski, violating trust-account rules and practicing with a suspended law license. The complaint requests a one-year license suspension, an order to pay $250 in restitution to Pristelski and an award of costs.

Alfredson was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in 2009. She received a 60-day suspension in 2017 for 16 counts of misconduct and a 90-day suspension in 2019 for her handling of two divorces.

Her law license remains under an administrative suspension for failing to comply with 2018-19 continuing legal education requirements.

Alfredson 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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