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In re Disciplinary Proceedings

Supreme Court of Wisconsin

March 21, 2019

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

          ATTORNEY disciplinary proceeding. Attorney's license suspended.

          PER CURIAM.

         ¶1 We review a stipulation filed pursuant to Supreme Court Rule (SCR) 22.12 by the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) and Attorney David P. F. Templeton. In the stipulation, Attorney Templeton admits that he committed professional misconduct, and he agrees with the OLR's request that his license to practice law be suspended for a period of six months. He further agrees that the court should impose various conditions upon the reinstatement of his license to practice law.

         ¶2 After careful review of the matter, we accept the stipulation and impose the requested discipline. Because Attorney Templeton entered into a comprehensive stipulation prior to the appointment of a referee, we do not require him to pay the costs of this proceeding.

         ¶3 Attorney Templeton was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in 2004 and practiced in Menasha. He has no prior disciplinary history. Effective May 31, 2017, his license to practice law was suspended for failure to comply with continuing legal education reporting requirements. Effective October 31, 2017, his license to practice law was suspended for failure to pay state bar dues and provide the OLR trust account certification. Attorney Templeton's license remains suspended.

         ¶4 On December 27, 2018, the OLR filed a complaint alleging that Attorney Templeton had engaged in three counts of professional misconduct. The complaint sought a six-month suspension of his license to practice law in Wisconsin. Attorney Templeton filed a handwritten answer on January 7, 2019, stating that he accepts the OLR's findings and recommendations and that he takes full responsibility for his misconduct.

         ¶5 On January 18, 2019, the OLR and Attorney Templeton filed a stipulation pursuant to SCR 22.12. The following facts are taken from the stipulation.

         ¶6 On June 22, 2017, Village of Fox Crossing Police Department Investigator Jeremiah Gustafson provided information to the OLR about Attorney Templeton, advising that Attorney Templeton was under investigation for suspected drug-related conduct. Investigator Gustafson was working with an investigator from the Lake Winnebago Metropolitan Enforcement Group (MEG) and a confidential informant (CI) . MEG is a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement task force concentrating on illegal drugs that uses CIs to gather evidence. The CI and Attorney Templeton had discussed the possibility of the CI performing clerical work for Attorney Templeton in exchange for drugs.

         ¶7 On August 2, 2017, Investigator Gustafson, the MEG investigator, and the CI met in advance of a pre-arranged controlled buy of illegal drugs from Attorney Templeton set for later that day. The CI wore a wireless body transmitter while the investigators observed the drug transaction between Attorney Templeton and the CI. Attorney Templeton delivered approximately .2 grams of heroin to the CI with the assurance, "Don't worry, I'll get more." Following the drug transaction, Attorney Templeton was arrested and later released.

         ¶8 On August 11, 2017, Attorney Templeton was charged in Winnebago County with one count of manufacturing/delivery of heroin in violation of Wis.Stat. § 961.41(1) (d)l, a Class F felony. Conditions of his bail/bond included absolute sobriety and no commission of any criminal act.

         ¶9 On August 14, 2017, Attorney Templeton tested positive for methamphetamine, in violation of his bail/bond. On August 17, 2017, he caused a disturbance at a Menasha apartment while intoxicated, two additional violations of his bail/bond.

         ¶10 On August 18, 2017, as a result of his conduct the previous day, Attorney Templeton was charged in Winnebago County with two counts of felony bail jumping pursuant to Wis.Stat. § 946.49(1)(b), and one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct pursuant to Wis.Stat. § 947.01.

         ¶11 On March 6, 2018, Attorney Templeton pleaded guilty to the felony count of manufacturing/delivery of heroin and one count of felony bail jumping. The other felony bail jumping and the disorderly conduct counts were read in and dismissed. On May 18, 2018, Attorney Templeton received an imposed but stayed sentence consisting of two years of initial confinement and three years of extended supervision, as well as an imposed five-year probation sentence with credit for time served. (Attorney Templeton was incarcerated between August 18, 2017 and May 18, 2018.)

         ¶12 Attorney Templeton's license to practice law in Wisconsin has been continuously suspended since May 31, 2017. On June 5, 2017, he appeared in Winnebago County Circuit Court on behalf of a client. Attorney Templeton failed to inform his client, opposing counsel, or the court that his license to practice law had been suspended. A representative of the Town of Grand Chute Police Department notified the OLR that on June 28 and 29, 2017, ...


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