On Tuesday, February 27, 2024, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin revoked the law license of Attorney Paul A. Strouse based on multiple counts of misconduct.

The case is entitled “Office of Lawyer Regulation v. Paul A. Strouse,” with case no. 2023AP1032-D.

The charges cited Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules  20:8.4(c), 20:3.4(c), 20:3.3(a)(1), 20:3.3(a)(1), 20:1.3, 20:1.1, 20:1.16(a)(2), 20:5.5(a)(2), 20:1.4(a)(4), 20:8.4(a), 22.26(2) and 11 U.S.C. § 526(a)(2). 

The Court reviewed the findings of Referee V.L. Bailey-Rihn, who recommended revoking Strouse’s license after he failed to respond to or dispute the disciplinary complaint filed by the Office of Lawyer Regulation. Strouse has a long history of discipline dating back to 2010 that includes three prior public reprimands and a 60-day suspension in 2015.

Some of the more recent allegations against Strouse involved improperly using another attorney’s notary stamp without permission. Between November 2020 and March 2021, Strouse retained possession of Attorney Thomas Napierala’s notary stamp and affixed it to at least 18 affidavits that were filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Strouse also electronically signed Napierala’s name as the notary without authorization.

When questioned about the affidavits, Strouse misrepresented to Bankruptcy Court judges that he had an arrangement with Napierala for notarial services. However, Napierala later denied the existence of any such arrangement. Strouse eventually admitted to the United States Trustee that he filed the affidavits without Napierala’s consent.

In another matter, Strouse was hired in 2019 to represent a client, identified as R.C., in an employment discrimination case. Strouse filed the complaint with the court just before the statute of limitations expired in May 2021 but then failed to timely serve the defendant’s employer. Without his client’s permission, Strouse voluntarily dismissed the case later that year. As a result, R.C.’s claims were now time-barred despite being filed within the deadline.

Strouse acknowledged his representation of R.C. and another client was impacted by personal and health problems but he did not notify them or file to withdraw from the cases. Based on these actions, the Supreme Court revoked Strouse’s law license, finding he violated various rules of professional conduct regarding dishonesty, disobeying court obligations, and making false statements. Given his extensive disciplinary history, the Court concluded revocation was the appropriate sanction. Strouse was also ordered to pay all costs associated with the disciplinary proceeding.

The Disposition states:

“IT IS ORDERED that the license of Paul A. Strouse to practice law in Wisconsin is revoked, effective April 2, 2024.”

According to avvo.com, Mr. Strouse was a general practice attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He attended the Valparaiso University School. He acquired his law license in Wisconsin in 1991.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.