In the Matter of Disciplinary Proceedings Against Alan R. Stewart, Attorney at Law:
Alan R. Stewart, Respondent. Office of Lawyer Regulation, Complainant,
disciplinary proceeding. Attorney's license suspended.
review Referee John B. Murphy's recommendation that
Attorney Alan R. Stewart be declared in default and that his
license to practice law in Wisconsin be suspended for 60 days
for professional misconduct. The referee also recommended
that Attorney Stewart pay the full costs of the proceeding,
which are $805.85 as of October 11, 2017.
We declare Attorney Stewart to be in default. We agree with
the referee that Attorney Stewart's professional
misconduct warrants a 60-day suspension of his license to
practice law in Wisconsin. We also agree that Attorney
Stewart should pay the full costs of this proceeding.
Attorney Stewart was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in
1992. He was registered as a patent attorney with the United
States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on March 19,
2001. He practices in Appleton.
This court recently imposed a nine-month disciplinary
suspension on Attorney Stewart for two counts of failing to
complete and file a patent application or act in furtherance
of his client's interests in violation of SCR 20:1.3; two
counts of failing to keep his client reasonably informed of
the status of the matter and respond to his client's
telephone calls and emails in violation of SCR 20:1.4 (a) (3)
and (4); two counts of receiving an advance fee from his
client and failing to complete and file the patent
application in violation of SCR 20:1.5(a); two counts of
failing to refund any unearned advance fee in violation of
SCR 20:1.16(d); one count of misrepresenting to his client
that he completed the patent application in violation of SCR
20:8.4(c); and two counts of failing to provide the Office of
Lawyer Regulation (OLR) with a written response to the
grievance in violation of SCR 22.03(2) and (6), enforced via
SCR 20:8.4(h). See In re Disciplinary Proceedings Against
Stewart, 2017 WI 41, 374 Wis.2d 642, 893 N.W.2d 572.
In addition, Attorney Stewart's license to practice law
in Wisconsin is also administratively suspended due to his
failure to pay mandatory bar dues, failure to file a trust
account certification, and failure to comply with continuing
legal education requirements.
On June 16, 2017, the OLR filed this complaint against
Attorney Stewart alleging three counts of misconduct
pertaining to his continuing to practice law before the
USPTO. Specifically, as the complaint alleged, USPTO
regulations require that trademark matters be handled by a
registered attorney, defined as "an individual who is a
member in good standing in the highest court of any
state." Attorney Stewart has been administratively
suspended from the practice of law in Kentucky and Minnesota
since at least 2013, for non-payment of bar dues.
On February 10, 2015, this court temporarily suspended
Attorney Stewart's license to practice law due to his
failure to cooperate in two separate OLR investigations. The
OLR sent Attorney Stewart notice of that temporary license
suspension. Attorney Stewart filed documents or otherwise
took action in five different trademark matters on March 16,
2015, April 27, 2015, May 18, 2015, and June 6, 2015. On
October 2, 2015, the Office of Enrollment and Discipline
(OED) filed a complaint with the USPTO against Attorney
Stewart relating to his continuing practice before the USPTO
despite not being a member in good standing in any state bar.
Attorney Stewart did not respond the OED complaint and was
eventually deemed to be in default; the USPTO issued an
Initial Decision and Order on Default Judgment on December
16, 2015, finding, inter alia, that Attorney Stewart
"violated 37 C.F.R. §11.505 by continuing to
practice trademark law before the USPTO despite not being a
member in good standing in any state bar." The USPTO
excluded him from practice before the USPTO.
On February 10, 2016, the OED advised the OLR of this matter.
On February 25, 2016, the OLR provided Attorney Stewart with
written notice of its formal investigation, requesting a
response from Attorney Stewart. Despite repeated requests,
Attorney Stewart has failed to respond to the OLR's
Accordingly, the OLR's complaint alleged:
Count One: By continuing to practice
trademark law before the USPTO despite not being a member in
good standing in any state bar, Attorney Stewart violated SCR
20:5.5(a) (1) .
Count Two: By representing himself to the
USPTO as an attorney of record in Wisconsin in four separate
trademark applications, despite knowing that he was suspended
from the practice of law, Attorney ...