State Supreme Court suspends Whitewater attorney’s license
MADISON The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Whitewater attorney committed three counts of misconduct and suspended his license for 60 days.
John R. Dade of Dade and Penwell Law Office will start his suspension March 21. He was accused of misconduct stemming from a divorce case in Rock County.
“I agreed to it, and I accept the result,” Dade said of the court’s ruling. “I am anxious for the 60 days to toll so that I can get back to work as an attorney.”
The Office of Lawyer Regulation accused Dade of filing court documents late and not responding to requests from his client during the 2010 divorce case.
According to court documents, Dade’s client called the law office multiple times asking to reschedule a trial date because she could not attend, but Dade never responded. When the trial went on as scheduled, neither Dade’s client nor her husband was there, and the divorce was dismissed, the Office of Lawyer Regulation said.
Dade then agreed to finish a new divorce action for free, the office said, but soon after filing for a new divorce, had his license temporarily suspended because of a different issue. The client in the divorce case eventually found another lawyer.
A majority of Supreme Court justices found the Office of Lawyer Regulation’s 60-day suspension request appropriate.
Justices Shirley Abrahamson and Ann Walsh Bradley dissented in the decision, implying the punishment should have been tougher since Dade had been disciplined four times before, including a previous 60-day license suspension.
Writing for the dissent, Abrahamson said giving him the same punishment again was “not in keeping with the concepts of progressive discipline.”