In the Matter of Disciplinary Proceedings Against Tracy R. Eichhorn-Hicks, Attorney at Law:
Tracy R. Eichhorn-Hicks, Respondent. Office of Lawyer Regulation, Complainant,
PROCEEDINGS AGAINST EICHHORN-HICKS
ATTORNEY disciplinary proceeding. Attorney's license
In this reciprocal discipline matter, Attorney Tracy R.
Eichhorn-Hicks has entered into a stipulation with the Office
of Lawyer Regulation (OLR). In the stipulation the parties
agree that it would be appropriate for this court to impose
the level of discipline sought by the OLR as being reciprocal
to the discipline imposed by the Supreme Court of Minnesota,
namely a 120-day suspension of Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks'
license to practice law in Wisconsin and an order directing
Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks to comply with the conditions imposed
upon him by the Supreme Court of Minnesota. Having carefully
reviewed the matter, we accept the stipulation and impose the
requested sanction. Given the fact that Attorney
Eichhorn-Hicks entered into a comprehensive stipulation
before the appointment of a referee, we do not require him to
pay the costs of this proceeding.
Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks was admitted to the practice of law
in Minnesota in 1975. He was subsequently admitted to the
practice of law in this state in 1984. He has maintained a
law practice in Minneapolis.
Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks' disciplinary history in
Wisconsin consists of a one-year suspension and a public
reprimand, which were also imposed as discipline reciprocal
to that imposed by the Supreme Court of Minnesota in two
separate disciplinary proceedings. In re Disciplinary
Proceedings Against Eichhorn-Hicks, 2012 WI 18, 338
Wis.2d 753, 809 N.W.2d 379. Specifically, the one-year
suspension was reciprocal to a one-year suspension imposed in
Minnesota in 2000, which resulted from Attorney
Eichhorn-Hicks' misuse of his client trust account, his
failure to maintain proper trust account records, his
temporary misappropriation of funds, his false certification
on attorney registration statements, and his false statements
to Minnesota regulatory authorities. Id., ¶6.
The public reprimand was reciprocal to a public reprimand
imposed by the Supreme Court of Minnesota in 2009 for
professional misconduct involving (1) his receipt of advance
fee payments without a written fee agreement and without
placing those advance fees into his client trust account and
(2) his failure to disclose during a disciplinary
investigation the full amounts of payments he had received
for the representation of a client. Id., ¶7.
Because the OLR learned of these two instances of Minnesota
discipline at the same time, this court imposed both forms of
reciprocal discipline in the same proceeding. Id.,
¶¶1-2. Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks' license to
practice law in Wisconsin was reinstated in May 2014. In
re Disciplinary Proceedings Against Eichhorn-Hicks, 2014
WI 26, 353 Wis.2d 590, 846 N.W.2d 806.
Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks' license to practice law in
Wisconsin has been administratively suspended since October
31, 2018, due to his failure to pay state bar dues and to
certify his client trust account information. Attorney
Eichhorn-Hicks was also administratively suspended on June 5,
2019, for failure to comply with continuing legal education
(CLE) reporting requirements. His license remains
administratively suspended as of the date of this opinion.
In the present action, the OLR's complaint alleged two
counts. First, the complaint alleged that due to the
imposition of an indefinite suspension of his Minnesota law
license with a right to petition for reinstatement after 120
days and of certain conditions on his Minnesota law license,
Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks is subject to reciprocal discipline
in this state under Supreme Court Rule (SCR) 22.22. Second,
the complaint alleged that Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks had failed
to notify the OLR of the professional discipline imposed in
Minnesota, in violation of SCR 22.22(1).
After Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks was served with the complaint
and before he was ordered to show cause why reciprocal
discipline should not be imposed, Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks
entered into a comprehensive stipulation with the OLR. In the
stipulation, Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks admitted that the
Supreme Court of Minnesota had indefinitely suspended his
right to practice law in that state with a right to petition
for reinstatement after 120 days and had imposed a number of
conditions upon his reinstatement and his practice of law if
reinstated. That discipline resulted from the
following professional misconduct in three client matters:
1. By not stating in a written fee agreement with a client
that an advanced flat fee could be subject to a refund under
certain conditions, Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks violated
Minnesota Rule of Professional Conduct (Minn. R. Prof.
failing to communicate a plea agreement offer to a client
in a criminal case, Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks violated Minn.
R. Prof. Conduct 1.1, 1.2(a), 1.3, and 1.4(a)(1)-(3); and
3. By forging his client's signature on a medical
records release form, falsely signing his own name as a
witness to the client's signature, and then presenting
the falsely signed form to a third-party, Attorney
Eichhorn-Hicks violated Minn. R. Prof. Conduct 8.4(c)-(d).
Under SCR 22.22(3), this court shall impose the identical
discipline or license suspension imposed in another
jurisdiction, unless one or more of three exceptions apply.
In the stipulation, Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks states that he
does not claim that any such exception applies to his case.
Given the nature of the Minnesota suspension, the OLR and
Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks agree that it would be appropriate
for this court to impose a 120-day suspension of Attorney
Eichhorn-Hicks' license to practice law in Wisconsin.
They also note in the stipulation that in situations where
the other jurisdiction has imposed a form of discipline that
this court does not impose, we have ordered the respondent
attorney to comply with the terms and conditions of the other
jurisdiction's disciplinary order.
The stipulation further contains a number of statements and
representations by the parties. The parties state that the
stipulation was not the result of plea bargaining, that
Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks does not contest the facts and
misconduct alleged by the OLR, and that Attorney
Eichhorn-Hicks does not contest the level of reciprocal
discipline sought by the director of the OLR in this matter.
Attorney Eichhorn-Hicks further represents that he fully
understands the misconduct allegations against him, that he
fully understands the ramifications of the stipulated level
of discipline, that he fully understands his right to consult
with counsel and to contest this matter, that he is entering
into the stipulation knowingly and voluntarily, and that his
entry into the stipulation represents his decision not to
contest the misconduct alleged or the discipline sought by
After carefully reviewing this matter, we accept the
stipulation and impose the stipulated level of discipline. We
agree that the closest manner in which to replicate the
suspension imposed by the Supreme Court of Minnesota is to
suspend the license of ...