In the Matter of Disciplinary Proceedings Against David J. Silberman, Attorney at Law:
David J. Silberman, Respondent. Office of Lawyer Regulation, Complainant,
disciplinary proceeding. Attorney's license revoked.
The Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) and Attorney David J.
Silberman have filed a stipulation pursuant to Supreme Court
Rule (SCR) 22.12 that Attorney Silberman's license to
practice law in Wisconsin should be revoked, as discipline
reciprocal to that imposed by the Supreme Court of Illinois.
Upon careful review of the matter, we approve the stipulation
and impose the stipulated reciprocal discipline. The OLR does
not seek the imposition of costs against Attorney Silberman,
and we impose no costs.
Attorney Silberman was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin
in 1972. He was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1973.
Attorney Silberman's Wisconsin law license has been
suspended since October 31, 2015, for failure to pay bar dues
and failure to file an OLR trust account certificate.
On September 22, 2016, the Supreme Court of Illinois entered
an order disbarring Attorney Silberman in that state. The
disbarment was based on two counts of misconduct:
(1)Failure to hold property of third persons that is in his
possession in connection with a representation separate from
his own property, by converting real estate escrow account
proceeds to fund the operation of Nova Title, in violation of
Rule 1.15(a) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct
(2) Conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or
misrepresentation, by using real estate escrow funds to pay
Nova Title's operating expenses, in violation of Rule
8.4(c) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010).
The two counts of misconduct for which the Supreme Court of
Illinois disbarred Attorney Silberman arose out of
allegations that Attorney Silberman transferred over $460,
000 in real estate escrow money from his trust account to the
operating account of Nova Title, a company that he owned. The
transfers were unrelated to the purpose of the escrow and
exceeded any amounts legitimately due to Attorney Silberman
or his company. Accordingly, Attorney Silberman's
transfer of the funds constituted conversion of his
clients' trust funds to his own personal use. Attorney
Silberman transferred some of the funds back but over $180,
000 was not returned. Attorney Silberman failed to respond to
the Illinois disciplinary proceeding and provided no defense
to the allegations against him. Accordingly, the allegations
were deemed admitted and his disbarment was ordered pursuant
to default proceedings.
Attorney Silberman did not notify the OLR of the Illinois
disbarment within 20 days of its effective date.
On October 18, 2016, the OLR filed a complaint against
Attorney Silberman alleging the following counts of
Count One: By virtue of the Illinois disciplinary disbarment,
Attorney Silberman is subject to reciprocal discipline in
Wisconsin pursuant to SCR 22.22.
Count Two: By failing to notify OLR of the Illinois
disciplinary disbarment within 20 days of the effective date
of that jurisdiction's imposition of public discipline
for professional misconduct, Attorney Silberman violated SCR
On December 6, 2016, Attorney Silberman entered into a
stipulation with the OLR in which he agreed that the facts
alleged in the OLR's complaint supported the revocation
of his license to practice law in Wisconsin as reciprocal
discipline to that imposed by the Supreme Court of Illinois.
Under SCR 22.22(3), this court shall impose the identical
discipline imposed in another jurisdiction unless one or more
of three exceptions apply. In his stipulation, Attorney
Silberman states that he does not claim any of the defenses
found in SCR 22.22(3), and ...