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Ozaukee County lawyer faces 2-year license suspension

Strebel, Erika. Wisconsin Law Journal; Milwaukee (Jan 19, 2018).

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A Mequon solo-practitioner faces a 2-year license suspension over allegations that he broke attorney ethics rules.

According to a complaint filed Dec. 27 by the Office of Lawyer Regulation, the majority of the violations occurred while Carl Scholz was representing a Madison woman in an Ozaukee County foreclosure case. She was initially represented by another Mequon solo-practitioner, Donald Fraker, a colleague of Scholzs, according to the OLR. The two lawyersshared office space, according to the complaint.

The woman owned half of some land that was subject to the foreclosure action, and the other half belonged to her sons ex-wife pursuant to divorce proceedings. The land was divided into two parcels. One was sold, and the money from that sale was used to pay the mortgage owed to the bank and other costs related to the closing, according to the complaint.

Later, the court approved a stipulation between the woman and the sons ex-wife allowing the sale of the second parcel but requiring that half of the money from the sale, $94,545.64, be put into the trust accounts of each of their lawyers. It also required a court order for the money to be disbursed.

When Scholz took over representing the woman in 2013, Fraker cut a $60,975.94 check to Scholz and retained $29,069.70, hoping it would be used to pay Frakers legal fees, according to the complaint.

The OLR alleges Scholz deposited the money from Fraker into his business account and about a month later had spent most of that money without a court order. The OLR alleges that Scholz used $60,343.40 to pay for expenses that were either for his own benefit or to benefit clients and third parties.

Although the money was gone, Scholz continued as if the money had not been spent, including participating in mediation, lying to...