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Public reprimand, attorney missteps in Chippewa County case

Attorney Daniel Enright received a public reprimand after repeated missteps during a Chippewa County case in which he represented a client seeking damages against an ex-husband.

In March 2016, Enright failed to serve a defendant with the authenticated copy of the summons and complaint for a civil suit he filed on his client’s behalf. The court dismissed the case without prejudice in October, and Enright acknowledged to the Office of Lawyer Regulation: “I have no excuse. I had it on my desk and simply neglected to have it served.”

The plaintiff attempted again in January 2018 to have Enright file a civil suit against the ex-husband. The case was dismissed in March 2020 at the agreement of all parties for Enright’s failure to properly determine the expiration date of the case’s applicable statute of limitations and for failing to understand how the expiration date may have been extended.

Enright stated to the OLR, “I had only a vague idea of these dates because I was not aware of their significance. It was not until [opposing counsel] filed his motion to dismiss on 6/3/19 that I realized restitution payments could extend the statute of limitation but by then it was too late for us to use those and what we were trying to find was payments made by [the client’s ex-husband] for [the client’s] injuries or property damages related to her claim but we were unsuccessful.”

The client and Enright entered into an agreement in October 2019 releasing Enright from liability for handling the suits and, in return, Enright agreed to pay the client $15,000 by January 2020. After the parties dismissed in March, Enright proceeded to pay the client $5,000 in August, but has made no further payments.

The OLR reprimanded Enright, citing SCR 20:1.8(h)(1), “A lawyer shall not make an agreement prospectively limiting the lawyer’s liability to a client for malpractice unless the client is independently represented in making the agreement.” The client was not represented during the agreements.

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