A Milwaukee attorney’s license was reinstated Tuesday after the Supreme Court and Office of Lawyer Regulation agreed she’d served the terms and orders of her suspension.
Coral Dawn Pleas accepted a six month suspension that began in November 2020 over misconduct that occurred during her representation of a crash victim. After a year, Pleas petitioned for reinstatement in November, and the OLR filed its response and stipulations supporting the reinstatement in January and February.
Pleas’ misconduct stems from her representation of a client with the initials V.B. during two car-accident matters in 2014 and 2015. After receiving $25,000 in settlement funds, Pleas failed to notify V.B. and the health insurer of the money, failed to hold the funds in a trust and converted the $25,000 that was owed to her own use. During the second accident claim, Pleas failed to file a personal injury suit before the expiration of the statute of limitations.
In accordance with her disciplinary actions, Pleas was ordered to pay V.B.’s health insurer $8,333.33 in restitution within 60 days of the disciplinary decision. The payments were not completed until it was too late, according to the opinion. Pleas also deviated from the order when she notified her clients of her license suspension using regular USPS mail instead of certified mail. In addition, she belatedly filed her post-suspension affidavit with the OLR.
Despite the deviations, the OLR supported her license reinstatement petition, saying it did not believe the deviations warranted a denial in light of Pleas’ financial and personal hardships. During her suspension, she continued her compliance with continuing legal education and ethics and profession-responsibility requirements.
V.B. retained a lawyer to bring forth a malpractice suit against Pleas, but it was dismissed because of Pleas’ lack of malpractice insurance and her filings for bankruptcy.
In comments submitted to the OLR, V.B. stated that she “does not believe that Attorney Pleas has the moral character to practice law” and asked the court to order Pleas to reimburse her for expenses she may have recovered if the second injury suit had taken place.
The court did not accept V.B.’s objections or request in their decision.
According to the opinion, Pleas plans to run a home practice handling simple wills, municipal and traffic matters, entity formation for small business and other small matters for family and friends. Pleas currently works as a program coach for the Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation in Milwaukee and has served as a caretaker for her mother.