Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wisconsin Victims of Lawyer Theft Claims Awarded

The Wisconsin Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection Committee approved $172,900 in reimbursements to 7 victims of lawyer theft at its November meeting. The committee considered 23 claims against 10 attorneys. Ten claims were denied; and 6 claims totaling $366,000 were deferred.

“Client protection funds around the country are experiencing increases in the numbers and sizes of claims,” says committee chair Deb Smith. “As lawyers are under increasing economic pressure, some experience problems with substance abuse, depression, or generally become overwhelmed. Unfortunately, there are those who resort to stealing from clients and trust accounts. I think that explains, in part, what we’re seeing in the numbers and amounts of claims in Wisconsin. While we can feel some empathy for the plight of those affected lawyers, it is important that we call them on their dishonest conduct and do what we can to make their victims whole. We are a self-policing profession, and as such, we owe a special duty to clients and the public to maintain trust and confidence in lawyers. One important way we do this is by making amends for the bad deeds of a few.”

Disbursements. Claims recently were approved for clients of:
•Joan Marie Boyd, Shawano (one claim for unearned advanced fees for $8,100)
•Peter T. Elliott, Oconomowoc (one claim for theft from an estate for $150,000)
•Christopher A Mutschler, Fond du Lac (one claim for unearned advanced fees for $4,000)
•Godfrey Y. Muwonge, Milwaukee (four claims for unearned advanced fees totaling $10,800)

Full Article and Source:
Fund for Client Protection Approves $172,900 in Reimbursements for Lawyer Theft Victims


StandUp said...

All states should have these funds - collected from lawyers - to pay for lawyer theft and even gross negligence.

That would help clean them up!

wisernow said...

Hey, wait a minute, where's the list of lawyer's who serve as guardians? With money missing from wards accounts?

Oh, I forgot, ALL guardianship cases in WISCONSIN are closed / sealed hidden from inquiring minds and prying eyes so only the lawyers who might be stealing the money are the only ones who can get into the file without an act of Congress.

The Wisconsin Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection Committee considered 23 claims.

I have to wonder how many claims / complaints were submitted that are not included in this number.

The Wisconsin State legislators knew or maybe they were conned by so called "advocates" of the elderly and lawyers who profit from guardianship who are part of the special interest groups who lobby (BRIBE) the lawmakers (most are lawyers in the legislature anyway)to write laws in their favor and even more dangerous keep guardianship files away from open records laws allowing by design an open door for more stealing.

Nice way to keep the stealing from audit and review and criminal courts ey?

It sounds like Ms. Deb Smith is preparing us for more bad news making excuses for lawyers who go bad.

Now the bigger issue is: Will this Committee refer these crooks to the local District Attorney or better yet the Wisconsin Attorney General's Office for prosecution?

Anonymous said...

Look at the money involved! Almost $173K from just 7 thieving lawyers!


jerri said...

thieving = criminal conduct? probably not if you are a lawyer then its called an error an oversight misappropriation of funds and every other excuse from their playbook their script that they can drag up from the sewers.