Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pillars of the community

A friend of mine sent me the hearing dates for the possible re-instatement to the Bar of former State Senators Chuck Chvala (D) and Brian Burke (D).

Chuck Chvala:

On Tuesday, May 20, 2008, at 9 a.m., a public hearing will be held before referee Kim Peterson at the offices of Eiche & Frakes S.C., 2600 N. Mayfair Rd., Suite 250, Wauwatosa, on the petition of Charles J. Chvala, Madison, to reinstate his law license. Any interested person may appear at the hearing and be heard in support of, or in opposition to, the petition for reinstatement.

In Disciplinary Proceedings Against Chvala, 2007 WI 47, 300 Wis. 2d 206, 730 N.W.2d 648, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended Chvala's law license for two years, retroactive to April 10, 2006, based on his criminal conviction of one count of misconduct in public office (a Class E felony), relating to his having used state employees to work on political campaigns on state time, and one count of being party to the crime of making an excessive campaign contribution (an unclassified felony). The supreme court found that Chvala committed two violations of SCR 20:8.4(b), which prohibits a lawyer from committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.

To be reinstated, Chvala has the burden of substantiating by clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence that 1) he has the moral character to practice law in Wisconsin, 2) his resumption of the practice of law will not be detrimental to the administration of justice or subversive of the public interest, 3) all of his representations in his reinstatement petition are substantiated, and 4) he has complied fully with the terms of the order of suspension or revocation and with SCR 22.26.



Brian Burke

On May 29 and 30, 2008, at 9 a.m., a public hearing will be held at the Milwaukee Bar Association, 424 E. Wells St., Milwaukee, on the petition of Brian B. Burke, Milwaukee, to reinstate his law license. The hearing will be presided over by a referee appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Any interested person may appear at the hearing and be heard in support of, or in opposition to, the petition for reinstatement.

In Disciplinary Proceedings Against Burke, 2007 WI 46, 300 Wis. 2d 198, 730 N.W.2d 651, the supreme court suspended Burke's law license for two years, retroactive to Jan. 3, 2006, based on his criminal conviction of one count of misconduct in public office (a Class E felony), relating to using state employees to work on his campaign for state senator, and one count of obstructing an officer (a Class A misdemeanor), relating to Burke's having withheld a summary of a staff member's work history, knowing that it had been subpoenaed. Another count of misconduct in public office was dismissed and read in for sentencing purposes. The supreme court found that Burke committed two violations of SCR 20:8.4(b), which prohibits a lawyer from committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.

To be reinstated, Burke has the burden of substantiating by clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence that 1) he has the moral character to practice law in Wisconsin, 2) his resumption of the practice of law will not be detrimental to the administration of justice or subversive of the public interest, 3) all of his representations in his reinstatement petition are substantiated, and 4) he has complied fully with the terms of the order of suspension or revocation and with SCR 22.26.

I guess it depends on what having "the moral character to practice law in Wisconsin" means, if it means anything at all.