On November 23, 2022, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin ordered the revocation of Mr. Terry L. Constant’s license to practice law in Wisconsin, along with payments to respective individuals and entities that were aggravated.
The case, titled In the Matter of Disciplinary Proceedings Against Terry L. Constant, Case #2021AP33-D, was brought by the Office of Lawyer Regulation.
The charges cited Mr. Constant’s violations of SCR 20:1.15(d), 20:1.15(b)(1), 20:1.3, 20:8.4(c) which categorically state that:
Upon receiving funds or other property in which a client has an interest, or in which a lawyer has received notice that a 3rd party has an interest identified by a lien, court order, judgment, or contract, the lawyer shall promptly notify the client or 3rd party in writing.
A lawyer shall hold in trust, separate from the lawyer’s own property, that property of clients and 3rd parties that is in the lawyer’s possession in connection with a representation.
A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules can be found here.
Referee Charles H. Barr’s report recommended for Mr. Constant to be declared in default and to revoke his license to practice law in Wisconsin for 13 counts of professional misconduct. The referee also recommended that Mr. Constant make restitution to the Wisconsin Lawyers’ Fund for Client protection and to certain clients, with full payment of the full costs of the proceedings.
Mr. Constant failed to file a review, and thus, the Supreme Court Rule proceeded to review the Referee Barr’s report. The latter court determined that Mr. Constant is indeed in default and that the revocation of his license is an appropriate sanction for his professional misconduct. Furthermore, restitution to the Fund and certain clients was deemed apt.
The order states:
“In 2011, Attorney Constant was hired to represent S.C. in a personal injury action. After Attorney Constant settled the case, he
provided no further services relating to the matter after April 15, 2015, but retained $3,756.86 in his trust account. However, by April 10, 2016, his trust account held only $34.21 pertaining to the first accident.”
The order continues:
“That Attorney Constant failed to give client S.C. written notice of funds, failed to hold and safeguard settlement funds, failed to act with reasonable diligence to pay S.C.’s medical providers and by converted and misappropriated his client’s trust funds.”
The order further alleges:
“That in another allegation, Attorney Constant failed to provide prompt notice of receipt of settlement funds and deliver them to S.R. He also failed to provide clients S.R. and M.R. with information necessary to understand their settlements and the status of their claims and failed to obtain S.R.’s authorization to settle her claims before accepting a settlement.”
The order additionally notes:
“Furthermore, Mr. Constant failed to safeguard settlement funds belonging to S.R., M.R., and third parties. He misrepresented that numerous disbursements from his trust account were related to his representation of S.R.. He also failed to inform S.R. and M.R. that he closed his law office and had terminated his representation or otherwise intended to take no further action on their behalf.”
Mr. Constant attended Marquette University Law School, graduating in 1968. Mr. Constant practiced in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He was licensed in Wisconsin. His info can be found online here.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.