East Troy lawyer faces possible suspension

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Jonah Beleckis
Sunday, April 16, 2017

MADISON—An East Troy lawyer is facing a 60-day suspension over accusations of misconduct in two cases, according to a complaint filed by the state Office of Lawyer Regulation.

The six counts filed March 22 against Patrick J. Hudec mostly concern accusations of poor or absent communication and failures to conduct court proceedings in a timely manner, according to the complaint.

The first set of counts stem from a 2012 case where a woman hired Hudec to represent her for the estate of her mother, who had died, according to the complaint.

Hudec did not communicate the scope of his representation and the basis or rate of the fee in writing within a reasonable time, the complaint states. As the case progressed, he also did not promptly respond to emails and calls from his client.

Hudec also did not file court matters in a timely manner, according to the complaint. This includes an objection to someone else's claim against the estate.

After the Walworth County Court ruled against him, Hudec filed with the court of appeals.

Although Hudec underwent health problems around this time, the court of appeals ruled against him and wrote in its decision that his health problems were not enough to excuse his actions, according to the complaint.

“The postjudgement court considered the serious health incidents suffered by the estate's attorney,” the decision reads, “but pointed to the distinct pattern of missed deadlines, observing that the record 'is replete with the failure of (the estate's attorney) to comply with virtually every time deadline.'”

After the court ordered the woman to hire a new attorney, she later discovered full reports Hudec did not show her, according to the complaint.

The second set of three counts are from a 2012 defamation case in Waukesha County Court.

In these court proceedings, Hudec did not send a timely response to a counterclaim, according to the complaint. Additionally, Hudec failed to give his client notice of a hearing.

Hudec also failed to provide requested discovery from opposing council, failed to file a pretrial report and indicated he wanted to withdraw as the attorney but filed only unsigned documents, according to the complaint.

His client from this case filed a civil suit against him, according to the complaint. The case is still pending.

Hudec's prior disciplinary record of three private and two public reprimands, according to the complaint, include:

-- Conflicts of interest.

-- Withholding material evidence from the Board of Attorneys Professional Responsibility.

-- Drafting a letter that contained a false statement of fact.

-- Failing to act with “reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.”

-- Misconduct involving a “pattern of gross and inexcusable attention to detail,” such as, “filing a brief rife with grammatical and spelling errors.”

Bill Weigel, of the Office of Lawyer Regulation, said in an email Hudec has the right to contest the recent set of allegations and his agency has the burden of providing “clear, satisfactory and convincing” evidence.

Hudec has yet to file his response to the complaint, according to online court records.

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