In the Matter of Disciplinary Proceedings Against Leonard G. Adent, Attorney at Law: Office of Lawyer Regulation, Complainant,
Leonard G. Adent, Respondent
Attorney publicly reprimanded.
Wis.2d 373] ATTORNEY disciplinary
[¶1] We review a stipulation pursuant to
Supreme Court Rule (SCR) 22.12 between the Office of Lawyer
Regulation (OLR) and Attorney Leonard G. Adent. In the
stipulation, Attorney Adent agrees with the OLR's
position that his misconduct warrants the imposition of a
public reprimand. Attorney Adent also agrees with the
OLR's position that various conditions be imposed upon
his continued practice of law in Wisconsin.
[¶2] After fully reviewing the stipulation
and the facts of this matter, we accept the stipulation and
impose the public reprimand jointly requested by the parties.
We further find it appropriate to impose the recommended
conditions upon Attorney Adent's practice of law. In
light of the parties' stipulation and the fact that no
referee needed to be appointed, we impose no costs upon
[¶3] Attorney Adent was admitted to practice
law in Wisconsin in 1967 and practices in Pewaukee. Attorney
Adent's disciplinary history consists of a 2012
consensual public reprimand for a conviction of second
offense operating while intoxicated (OWI) and for failure to
provide competent or diligent representation to a client,
failure to obey an obligation under the rules of a tribunal,
and failure to make a reasonably diligent effort to comply
with a defendant's discovery request. In addition,
Attorney Adent failed to report his OWI conviction to the OLR
or to the clerk of this court, and he failed to fully answer
the OLR's inquiries during the OLR's investigation.
Public Reprimand of Leonard G. Adent, 2012-19.
Wis.2d 374] [¶4] On October 9, 2015, the OLR
filed a complaint alleging five counts of professional
misconduct against Attorney Adent.
On October 26, 2015, Attorney Adent entered into a
stipulation whereby he agrees that the factual allegations
contained in the OLR's complaint are accurate and that he
committed the professional misconduct charged in the
complaint. The stipulation states that Attorney Adent fully
understands the nature of the misconduct allegations against
him, his right to contest those allegations, and the
ramifications that would follow from this court's
imposition of the stipulated level of discipline. The
stipulation indicates that Attorney Adent understands his
right to counsel. He verifies that he is entering into the
stipulation knowingly and voluntarily and that his entry into
the stipulation represents his decision not to contest this
[¶5] The OLR's complaint alleged that,
since at least 2009, Attorney Adent maintained the "
Leonard G. Adent Attorney at Law IOLTA Trust Account" at
the Waukesha State Bank. Attorney Adent used the trust
account for, among other things, holding funds of clients
and/or third parties. Until late March 2014, Attorney Adent
had neither a business bank account nor a personal bank
account. He retained earned fees in his trust account and
used the trust account to pay personal expenses. In July
2013, the Waukesha State Bank advised Attorney Adent that it
could no longer cash personal checks made payable to Attorney
Adent and that he must open a personal account. Attorney
Adent opened a new account in March 2014. The account was
identified as " Mr. Leonard G. Adent" without
reference to " Attorney," " Law Office,"
" Business Account," " Office Account,"
" Operating Account," [367 Wis.2d 375] or similar
words. Attorney Adent informed the OLR that the account was a
personal account and not a business account.
[¶6] The OLR's complaint also alleged
that on November 14, 2013, Attorney Adent made a cash deposit
of $260 into the trust account and failed to record any
information identifying the client or matter on the deposit
slip, and he informed the OLR that he was unsure as to which
client the deposit related. Attorney Adent held a $2,735 fee
in his trust account and never withdrew it. On January 9,
2014, Attorney Adent deposited a $1,500 loan from T.D., a
client who Attorney Adent was representing in a foreclosure
action, into his trust account. Attorney Adent failed to
record any information identifying the client or matter on
the deposit slip. The terms of the loan transaction were not
transmitted in writing to T.D., nor did Attorney Adent advise
T.D. in writing of the desirability of seeking independent
legal counsel. T.D. did not give his informed written consent
to the essential terms of the loan transaction. On or about
April 26, 2014, after the OLR had inquired about the matter,
and well over three months following the loan, T.D. signed a
written statement and promissory note with Attorney Adent.
The note was backdated to January 8, 2014.
[¶7] On February 10, 2011, Attorney Adent
was convicted of an OWI (second) conviction in Fond du Lac
County, Wisconsin. On April 17, 2014, a Door County
Sheriff's Department deputy observed a vehicle operated
by Attorney Adent cross the center line and initiated a
traffic stop of the vehicle. Attorney Adent was placed under
arrest for operating a motor vehicle while under the
influence of an intoxicant (third offense). Attorney Adent
reported his arrest to the OLR on July 8, 2014. On November
25, 2014, pursuant to a [367 Wis.2d 376] guilty plea,
Attorney Adent was convicted of misdemeanor OWI (third),
sentenced to 150 days in jail with Huber privileges, and
fined, and his driver license was revoked for 33 months.
[¶8] The OLR's complaint alleged that
Attorney Adent engaged in the following counts of misconduct:
[Count One] By receiving trust funds but failing to maintain
a business account, Adent violated SCR
[Count Two] By commingling his personal funds with client
funds held in his Trust Account, for purposes other than
paying monthly bank account service charges, Adent violated
[Count Three] By accepting a $1,500 loan from a client in
January 2014, without any required written disclosures or the
client's informed consent and no documentation of the
transaction other than a back-dated promissory note, Adent
violated SCR 20:1.8(a).
[367 Wis.2d 377] [Count Four] By failing to maintain a
transaction register, individual client ledgers, a ledger for
account fees and charges, by disbursing checks from his trust
account without identifying the client matter and the reason
for the disbursement on the memo line or by using the memo
line to attribute checks to a client matter when actually
disbursing his personal funds, by failing to record the
client or matter associated with each deposit item on his
deposit slips, and by failing to perform monthly
reconciliations of his IOLTA checking account, Adent violated
[367 Wis.2d 379] [Count Five] By engaging in conduct leading
to a criminal conviction of OWI (3rd), Adent ...