In the Matter of Disciplinary Proceedings Against Scott E. Selmer, Attorney at Law:
Scott E. Selmer, Respondent. Office of Lawyer Regulation, Complainant,
PROCEEDINGS AGAINST SELMER
disciplinary proceeding. Attorney's license suspended.
This is a reciprocal discipline matter. On November 13, 2015,
the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) filed a complaint and
motion pursuant to Supreme Court Rule (SCR) 22.22,
requesting this court suspend Attorney Scott E. Selmer's
license to practice law in Wisconsin for a period of 12
months, as reciprocal discipline identical to that imposed by
the Minnesota Supreme Court. Upon our review, we agree that
it is appropriate to impose the same 12-month suspension
imposed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, as well as the costs
of this proceeding, and we reject Attorney Selmer's
arguments to the contrary.
Attorney Selmer was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in
1978. Attorney Selmer's Wisconsin law license is
currently suspended for failure to comply with CLE reporting
requirements, for failure to pay annual bar dues, and for
failure to provide a required trust account certification.
Attorney Selmer was admitted to practice law in Minnesota in
1984. He presently resides in New York.
The following facts are taken from the OLR's complaint
relating to the Minnesota disciplinary proceedings and the
documents attached to that complaint. Attorney Selmer's
professional disciplinary history in Wisconsin consists of:
•A 1990 private reprimand for practicing law when his
license was suspended for failure to meet CLE requirements,
by filing documents with the Pierce County Circuit Court and
Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Private Reprimand
• A 1995 public reprimand for failure to promptly
provide his client in a personal injury matter a full
accounting of funds he received on her behalf, charging and
suing that client to collect an unreasonable fee, abusing the
discovery process in that action, and failing to maintain
proper trust account books and records, falsely certifying
that he had done so and commingling personal and client funds
in his trust account. Disciplinary Proceedings Against
Selmer, 195 Wis.2d 687, 538 N.W.2d 252 (1995).
•A 1999 one-year suspension for engaging in a pattern of
frivolous and harassing conduct by filing counterclaims
alleging racial discrimination in actions brought against him
by his creditors and by filing claims in state and federal
courts alleging racial discrimination, knowingly offering
false and misleading evidence in response to discovery
requests, failing to supplement incomplete and misleading
responses to discovery requests, failing to comply or make
reasonably diligent efforts to comply with legally proper
discovery requests, making false statements of fact in
attempts to advance his own interests, and engaging in
dishonest conduct in those actions. Disciplinary
Proceedings Against Selmer, 227 Wis.2d 85, 595 N.W.2d
•A 2009 public reprimand for failure to comply with the
terms of probation, failure to file timely individual income
tax returns, and a fifth-degree assault conviction.
Disciplinary Proceedings Against Selmer, 2009 WI 15,
315 Wis.2d 650, 761 N.W.2d 6.
In the Minnesota proceeding giving rise to this reciprocal
discipline case, the Minnesota Supreme Court noted that
Attorney Selmer had been disciplined in Minnesota on four
prior occasions. In 1995 Attorney Selmer was publically
reprimanded and placed on probation for several violations,
including abusing the discovery process. In re
Selmer, 529 N.W.2d 684, 685 (Minn. 1995). In 1995, the
Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed an admonition issued to
Attorney Selmer for improperly charging a client. In 1997,
the Minnesota Supreme Court suspended Attorney Selmer for 12
months for engaging in a pattern of harassing and frivolous
litigation and failing to comply with discovery requests.
In re Selmer, 568 N.W.2d 702, 704-05 (Minn. 1997).
In 2008, the Minnesota Supreme Court publicly reprimanded
Attorney Selmer and placed him on probation in part for
failing to pay a judgment entered against him. In re
Selmer, 749 N.W.2d 30, 33 (Minn. 2008).
On July 15, 2015, effective July 29, 2015, the Minnesota
Supreme Court indefinitely suspended Attorney Selmer's
Minnesota law license, with no right to petition for
reinstatement for a minimum of 12 months. The Minnesota
Supreme Court found that Attorney Selmer violated Minnesota
Rules of Professional Conduct sections 1.1, 3.1, 3.4(c),
3.4(d), and 8.4(d) through a pattern of frivolous and
harassing litigation, a failure to obey court orders, and a
failure to comply with legally proper discovery requests. The
Minnesota court found that Attorney Selmer filed ten separate
lawsuits in two different counties, the court of appeals, and
a Minnesota federal district court, and then repeatedly
failed to obey court orders, appear for hearings, or
otherwise respond to pleadings and discovery requests. All
ten lawsuits were dismissed based either on the frivolity of
Attorney Selmer's arguments or because he failed to
comply with court rules. The court noted that two of Attorney
Selmer's four prior Minnesota disciplinary proceedings
were for similar conduct, engaging in a pattern of harassing
and frivolous litigation.
In its complaint, the OLR alleged that Attorney Selmer is
subject to reciprocal discipline and that, by failing to
notify OLR of his suspension in Minnesota for professional
misconduct within 20 days of the effective date of its
imposition, Selmer violated SCR 22.22(1).
The OLR asked this court to issue an order, pursuant to SCR
22.22(2)(b), directing Attorney Selmer to inform the court in
writing of any claim by him, predicated upon the grounds set
forth in SCR 22.22(3), that the imposition of discipline
reciprocal to that imposed in Minnesota would be unwarranted,
and of the factual basis for any such claim. Delay ensued
because of difficulty completing proof of service. This court
issued the requested order on February 9, 2016.
On March 1, 2016, Attorney Selmer responded to this
court's order. He filed an answer to the order to show
cause, an answer to the complaint, and a motion to dismiss or
for an extension of time.
Attorney Selmer's cursory answer merely denies "each
and every material allegation of the complaint" and