Hudson attorney reprimanded by Wisconsin Supreme CourtHudson attorney Daniel DeMaio has been “publicly reprimanded” by the Wisconsin Supreme Court and ordered to pay $5,290 in disciplinary case costs.
Hudson attorney Daniel DeMaio has been “publicly reprimanded” by the Wisconsin Supreme Court and ordered to pay $5,290 in disciplinary case costs.
The state Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) investigated the original complaint against DeMaio for alleged professional misconduct related to three violations that occurred in 2004-05.
According to the Supreme Court disciplinary document, issued Oct. 1, DeMaio allegedly represented an individual in a criminal case in 2004. The charges were later dismissed.
But his client eventually hired the attorney to represent the individual in bankruptcy proceedings. His client was in the midst of a foreclosure and DeMaio allegedly promised to protect the client’s assets.
The disciplinary action notes that despite the fact that he was hired to represent the individual, DeMaio kept no record of the amount of time he spent on the case nor was there a written agreement between the attorney and his client.
The attorney also allegedly failed to follow through with proper filings in the bankruptcy case in a timely fashion, and also did not forward a $700 refund check to his client after the case ended.
Also, DeMaio and his wife eventually became interested in his client’s foreclosed property and purchased it. At no time did DeMaio report to his client that a conflict of interest might exist due to his interest in the property, the Supreme Court found.
The state Office of Lawyer Regulation said there was “no clear and convincing evidence” that DeMaio had “engaged in dishonest or deceitful acts.”
But officials characterized DeMaio’s misconduct as “involving more of a lack of diligence and communication.”
The OLR noted that the fact that DeMaio’s longtime secretary was terminally ill during that time period may have been a contributing factor in the problems.
While it was suggested that DeMaio’s misconduct might bring a 60-day suspension, the Supreme Court instead ordered a public reprimand. DeMaio was also ordered to pay the cost of the proceedings. He was given 60 days to pay the bill or his attorney’s license would be suspended.