On Friday, December 15, 2023, the Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended attorney Matthew T. Luening’s license to practice law for 60 days following a disciplinary proceeding brought by the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR).
The case is entitled “Office of Lawyer Regulation v. Matthew T. Luening,” with case no. 2020AP2166-D.
The OLR filed a complaint against Luening on December 29, 2020, alleging 12 counts of professional misconduct. Seven of the counts are related to Luening’s representation of clients before an immigration tribunal. On February 24, 2023, the Supreme Court dismissed those seven counts, finding they should have been pleaded under the rules of the Executive Office of Immigration Review rather than Wisconsin’s Rules of Professional Conduct.
The remaining counts stemmed from Luening’s relationship and dealings with a former client, L.S., and his practice of law while his license was suspended. Regarding L.S., the OLR alleged Luening failed to properly communicate the scope and fees of his representation when helping L.S. obtain military death benefits for her late husband between 2013-2018. It was also alleged that after L.S. offered to loan Luening $25,000 in May 2018 due to his financial problems, he withdrew over $23,600 from L.S.’s bank account without her permission between June 2018 and January 2019 using a power of attorney. Luening maintained the withdrawals were part of a loan agreement he had with L.S. In addition, the OLR alleged Luening misappropriated some of L.S.’s funds for his personal use. Luening has since repaid L.S. $33,000.
Separately, the OLR alleged Luening practiced law on June 5-7, 2019 while his license was suspended for failing to timely pay his mandatory continuing legal education late fee. This came after the Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners notified Luening in April 2019 that his license would be automatically suspended effective June 5, 2019, if he did not become compliant.
The referee recommended a 60-day suspension, which the Supreme Court adopted in its December 15, 2023 decision. Luening has also been ordered to pay 25% of the proceeding’s costs, which equal around $8,639.22.
The Disposition states:
“IT IS ORDERED that the license of Matthew T. Luening to practice law in Wisconsin is suspended for a period of 60 days, effective January 26, 2024.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Luening is a criminal defense attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He attended the Marquette University Law School, graduating in 2010. He acquired his law license in Wisconsin in the same year.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.