Office of Lawyer Regulation v. Jeffrey A. Reitz

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2015 WI 9 SUPREME COURT CASE NO.: COMPLETE TITLE: OF WISCONSIN 2010AP1576-D & 2011AP1764-D In the Matter of Disciplinary Proceedings Against Jeffrey A. Reitz, Attorney at Law: Office of Lawyer Regulation, Complainant-Respondent, v. Jeffrey A. Reitz, Respondent-Appellant. DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS AGAINST REITZ OPINION FILED: SUBMITTED ON BRIEFS: ORAL ARGUMENT: SOURCE OF APPEAL: COURT: COUNTY: JUDGE: JUSTICES: CONCURRED: DISSENTED: NOT PARTICIPATING: ATTORNEYS: February 4, 2015 2015 WI 9 NOTICE This opinion is subject to further editing and modification. The final version will appear in the bound volume of the official reports. No. 2010AP1576-D 2011AP1764-D STATE OF WISCONSIN : IN SUPREME COURT In the Matter of Disciplinary Proceedings Against Jeffrey A. Reitz, Attorney at Law: FILED Office of Lawyer Regulation, Complainant-Respondent, FEB 4, 2015 v. Diane M. Fremgen Clerk of Supreme Court Jeffrey A. Reitz, Respondent-Appellant. ATTORNEY reinstatement proceeding. ¶1 PER CURIAM. We review a Reinstatement granted. report filed by referee Christine Harris Taylor, recommending that the court reinstate the license of Jeffrey A. Reitz to practice law in Wisconsin. After careful review of the matter, we agree that Attorney Reitz's license should be reinstated, with conditions. We also agree with the referee that Attorney Reitz should be required to pay the full costs of this proceeding, which are $2,701.40 as of November 21, 2014. No. ¶2 Attorney Reitz was licensed to 2010AP1576-D 2011AP1764-D practice Wisconsin in 1981 and practiced in Milwaukee. law in His license was suspended for a period of ten months, commencing on May 3, 2013, for multiple counts of misconduct, primarily related mishandling of his trust accounts and client funds. to his He had previously been disciplined on two prior occasions. ¶3 for On February 11, 2014, Attorney Reitz filed a petition the reinstatement Wisconsin. The of Office his of response on July 31, 2014. for reinstatement but license Lawyer to practice Regulation (OLR) law in filed a The OLR did not oppose the petition recommended that conditions be imposed upon Attorney Reitz's resumption of the practice of law. ¶4 A public September 24, hearing 2014. The was held referee in filed the her matter on report and provides the recommendation on October 29, 2014. ¶5 Supreme standards petitioner to be must Court met show for by Rule (SCR) 22.31(1) reinstatement. clear, Specifically, satisfactory, and the convincing evidence that he or she has the moral character to practice law, that his or her resumption of the practice of law will not be detrimental to the administration of justice or subversive to the public interest, and that he or she has complied SCR 22.26 and the terms of the order of suspension. with In addition to these requirements, SCR 22.29(4)(a)-(4m) provides additional requirements that a petition for reinstatement must show. 2 All No. 2010AP1576-D 2011AP1764-D of these additional requirements are effectively incorporated into SCR 22.31(1). ¶6 When we review a referee's report and recommendation, we will adopt the referee's findings of fact unless they are clearly erroneous. See In re Conclusions of law are reviewed de novo. Disciplinary Proceedings Against Eisenberg, 2004 WI 14, ¶5, 269 Wis. 2d 43, 675 N.W.2d 747. ¶7 We conclude determination that that Attorney the referee's Reitz has findings met his support burden a to establish by clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence that he has met all of the standards required for reinstatement. The referee found that Attorney Reitz has not practiced law during the period of his suspension; that he has fully complied with the terms of the order of suspension; that he has maintained competence and learning in the law; that his conduct since the suspension has been exemplary and above reproach; and that he has a proper understanding of and attitude towards the standards that are conformity Attorney imposed with Reitz upon those can members of standards. safely be the The bar and referee recommended to will act in found that the legal profession, the courts, and the public as a person fit to be consulted by others and to represent them and otherwise act in matters of trust and confidence and in general to aid in the administration of justice as a member of the bar and as an officer of the courts. The referee also found that Attorney 3 No. 2010AP1576-D 2011AP1764-D Reitz has fully complied with the requirements as set forth in SCR 22.26. ¶8 The referee noted that the OLR's investigation revealed no information that Attorney Reitz failed to meet his burden to show that he has met all of the requirements required for the reinstatement of his license. that this court's resumption suspension of practice the order of The referee also noted provides law, that, Attorney upon Reitz's his trust account shall be subject to monitoring by the OLR for a period of two years. The referee found this condition of reinstatement to be well-founded. additional The OLR had also recommended that, as an condition of reinstatement, Attorney Reitz be required to work under the supervision of an attorney under SCR 20:5.1 or, at a minimum, that he be monitored by an attorney who works in the area of bankruptcy. The referee said this condition of reinstatement was unfounded and unsubstantiated by the testimony presented at the reinstatement hearing. ¶9 referee From that our review having the of OLR the matter, monitor we agree Attorney with Reitz's the trust account for a period of two years after he resumes the practice of law is a sufficient condition of reinstatement and that the additional condition suggested by the OLR is unnecessary. ¶10 It is this court's general practice to assess the full costs of a proceeding against a respondent. See SCR 22.24(1m). In order to award something less than full costs, the court must find extraordinary circumstances. 4 We find no extraordinary No. 2010AP1576-D 2011AP1764-D circumstances here, and we find it appropriate to assess the full costs of the proceeding against Attorney Reitz. ¶11 IT IS ORDERED that the license of Jeffrey A. Reitz to practice law in Wisconsin is reinstated, effective the date of this order, subject to the condition that upon his resumption of the practice of law, his trust account shall be subject to monitoring by the Office of Lawyer Regulation for a period of two years. ¶12 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that within 60 days of the date of this order, Jeffrey A. Reitz shall pay to the Office of Lawyer Regulation the costs of this proceeding, which are $2,701.40. ¶13 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that compliance with all of the terms of this order remain a condition of Jeffrey A. Reitz's license to practice law in Wisconsin. 5 No. 1 2010AP1576-D 2011AP1764-D