MADISON - Christopher Petros, a Hudson attorney with a long disciplinary record, had his law license revoked Wednesday, June 9, 2021, by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Petros previously has been reprimanded and suspended from practicing law, and now the most severe sanction available to the state’s high court has been imposed on him.
Petros has a criminal defense and family law practice in Hudson since 2009. He has also practice law in Minnesota.
In July 2020, his license was suspended for two years, and ordered by the state Supreme Court to make restitution of $24,000 to the Wisconsin Lawyers’ Client Protection Fund, for 24 counts of misconduct, which included:
- misappropriating funds from a vulnerable client;
- lying to clients about the status of their cases;
- repeatedly failing to respond to clients, including one who was in jail, and not responding to inquiries from the Office of Lawyer Regulation.
While that disciplinary action was pending, the OLR filed a 16-count complaint against Petros alleging misconduct and requesting his license be revoked.
Petros denied all the allegations and when asked to file a more definite response, his statement wasn’t included in the record of the case.
Petros then agreed to a schedule for an evidentiary hearing, to list witnesses and present exhibits. However, he never responded to discovery requests, didn’t appear at a status conference and never replied to the OLR’s attempts to contact him.
In justifying the revocation, the state Supreme Court wrote that Petros has been “in ethical trouble,” since he was licensed in 2009.
“There are common themes to his misbehavior: lack of candor, both by omission and by direct misrepresentation; money mishandling; failure to diligently pursue cases; and a persistent failure to cooperate with the OLR.
“Attorney Petros appears uninterested in honest, responsible advocacy, and tends to dodge or disappear altogether when called to account for his actions. Our profession has no place for persons who cannot be counted on to follow the basic standards and procedures set forth in our ethical rules,” according to the 16-page order.
Efforts to contact Petros Wednesday weren’t successful.
Prior disciplinary actions against Petros include:
- A 90-day suspension in 2013 made reciprocal to a sanction imposed by the Minnesota Supreme Court for lying to a court through an associate and failing to timely notify clients of their appeal rights;
- A reprimanded in 2017 for failing to prepare a contract he was hired to draft; withdrawing fees from a trust without advance notice;
The revocation was made effective immediately. Petros also is required to pay $5,000 to the father of a client he didn’t inform he would represent by appointment from the state Public Defender’s Office, and the $3,910 cost of the disciplinary proceeding.