In the Matter of Disciplinary Proceedings Against Suzanne E. Kitto, Attorney at Law:
Suzanne E. Kitto, Respondent. Office of Lawyer Regulation, Complainant,
disciplinary proceeding. Attorney's license suspended.
We review a referee's report and recommendation
concluding that Attorney Suzanne E. Kitto violated the rules
of professional conduct in connection with her representation
of W.C. and C.C. The referee recommended that this court
impose a 60-day suspension of Attorney Kitto's law
license. We adopt the referee's findings of fact,
conclusions of law, and recommendation regarding discipline.
We impose the full costs in this matter, which total $1,
310.32 as of April 17, 2018. We do not impose restitution, as
the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) has confirmed that
Attorney Kitto has made full restitution to W.C. and C.C.
Attorney Kitto was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in
1972. She has no disciplinary history.
On September 27, 2017, the OLR filed a complaint against
Attorney Kitto alleging five counts of professional
misconduct arising out of her representation of W.C. and C.C.
Attorney Kitto filed an answer by which she admitted all but
one of the OLR's factual allegations, affirmatively
alleged certain additional facts, and admitted all five
counts of misconduct. This court appointed William Eich to
serve as the referee in the matter.
Attorney Kitto later entered into a stipulation by which she
agreed that the referee could use the allegations of the
complaint as a factual basis for the referee's
determination of misconduct. The parties agreed to brief the
issue of the appropriate level of discipline to be imposed
for Attorney Kitto's misconduct.
After receiving briefing on the issue of discipline, the
referee filed a report recommending a 60-day suspension of
Attorney Kitto's law license. In noting that the parties
had stipulated that the OLR complaint provided an adequate
factual basis for a misconduct determination, the referee
implicitly incorporated by reference the undisputed
allegations in the OLR's complaint and deemed them
established. The facts before us are, then, as follows.
Starting in July 2013, Attorney Kitto represented W.C. and
C.C with regard to collection work on a land contract. The
other party to the land contract made the land contract
payments to W.C. and C.C. through Attorney Kitto's
office. W.C. and C.C. agreed that Attorney Kitto would
collect ten percent of the land contract payments for her
fees, and would apply the remainder of the payments to real
estate taxes, the mortgage on the property, and property
Attorney Kitto erred in her caretaking of W.C. and C.C.'s
funds. She failed to hold in trust the land contract payments
that she received on W.C. and C.C.'s behalf. She also
converted approximately $10, 000 of these payments to her
Attorney Kitto made other trust fund-related violations. She
deposited personal funds into her client trust account,
ostensibly for later use in paying her own personal debts.
Attorney Kitto also disbursed funds from her trust account
when there were insufficient funds in the account to cover
Based on the stipulated facts set forth above, Attorney Kitto
conceded the following five counts of misconduct:
• Count 1: By failing to promptly deliver funds, which
she collected in connection with her representation of W.C.
and C.C, to W.C. and C.C. or to third parties for W.C. and
C.C.'s benefit, Attorney Kitto violated former SCR
20:1.15(d) (1)and current SCR 20:1.15(e) (1)
• Count 2: By failing to hold in trust W.C. and
C.C.'s funds that she collected in connection with her
representation of W.C. and C.C., Attorney Kitto violated SCR
• Count 3: By converting funds belonging to W.C. and
C.C. for her own personal use, Attorney Kitto ...