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In re Disciplinary Proceedings Against Moss

Supreme Court of Wisconsin

August 2, 2017

In the Matter of Disciplinary Proceedings Against David V. Moss, Attorney at Law:
v.
David V. Moss, Respondent. Office of Lawyer Regulation, Complainant,

         DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS AGAINST MOSS

         ATTORNEY reinstatement proceeding. Reinstatement granted with conditions.

          PER CURIAM

         ¶1 We review a report filed by Referee James C. Boll recommending that the court reinstate the license of David V. Moss to practice law in Wisconsin. Upon careful review of the matter, we agree that Attorney Moss's license should be reinstated, with the conditions described herein. We further agree with the referee that Attorney Moss should be required to pay the full costs of the reinstatement proceeding, which are $3, 321.79 as of May 22, 2017.

         ¶2 Attorney Moss was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in 2009 and practiced in Galesville. Attorney Moss currently lives in the state of Washington. In 2014, Attorney Moss's license to practice law in Wisconsin was suspended for a period of two years for 35 counts of misconduct, which involved eight separate client matters. In re Disciplinary Proceedings Against Moss, 2014 WI 95, 357 Wis.2d 324, 850 N.W.2d 934. Attorney Moss's misconduct included repeatedly taking fees from clients and failing to perform the work for which he was hired; failing to communicate with clients regarding the status of their matters; and failing to return fees and client files upon request. Attorney Moss was later reciprocally disciplined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

         ¶3 In July 2016, Attorney Moss filed a petition seeking the reinstatement of his Wisconsin law license. In January 2017, the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) filed a response stating it did not oppose the reinstatement petition. A public hearing was held on April 3, 2017. Attorney Moss called three witnesses at the hearing, two attorneys in Washington state and a longtime friend. All three testified they would refer clients to Attorney Moss and believe he would be a good lawyer. One former client of Attorney Moss testified at the hearing that he did not believe Attorney Moss should be reinstated to practice law. However, the former client said he had not spoken with or observed Attorney Moss for over three years.

         ¶4 On May 2, 2017, the referee issued his report and recommendation recommending that Attorney Moss's Wisconsin law license be reinstated. The referee commented that during the reinstatement hearing, Attorney Moss testified with sincerity regarding his previous disciplinary issues, took responsibility for his actions, and apologized on the record to his clients. The referee noted that Attorney Moss testified he had been diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder in March of 2014 and that he controls this condition under the supervision of a doctor with prescribed medication and regular sessions with a counselor. The referee said that while he understands the frustration of the former client who opposed Attorney Moss's reinstatement, all available evidence in the record indicates that Attorney Moss has changed from the individual the former client encountered and the record demonstrates that Attorney Moss, with the help of medication and under a doctor's supervision, now has the moral character to practice law.

         ¶5 The referee concluded that Attorney Moss satisfied the burden of proof and requirements for reinstatement set forth in Supreme Court Rule (SCR) 22.31. The referee recommends that Attorney Moss's Wisconsin law license be reinstated with the following conditions:

1) Attorney Moss continue in counseling with a therapist who treats bi-polar conditions.
2) Attorney Moss continue in treatment with a physician who prescribes medication for bi-polar conditions.
3) Attorney Moss cooperate by taking the medication prescribed for his bi-polar condition.
4) Attorney Moss not consume any illegal drugs.
5) For a period of two (2) years following reinstatement, Attorney Moss provide the OLR with quarterly written reports from his therapist and his prescribing physician that he is cooperating with therapy and with taking the prescribed medication for his bi-polar condition.

         ¶6 The referee also recommends that Attorney Moss pay the full costs of the reinstatement proceeding. No appeal has been filed ...


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