The Wisconsin Supreme Court suspended attorney Peter James Nickitas’ license to practice law in the state for 120 days on December 15, 2023. This suspension was reciprocal to the discipline imposed in Minnesota.
The case is entitled “Office of Lawyer Regulation v. Peter James Nickitas,” with case no. 2023AP1294-D.
Nickitas was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in 1991 and is also licensed in Minnesota. He has faced disciplinary actions in Wisconsin twice before, which resulted in 90-day and 30-day suspensions in 2006 and 2014 respectively. Both prior cases were also reciprocal to sanctions imposed in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Supreme Court suspended Nickitas for 120 days on January 11, 2023, for inappropriate behavior during court proceedings. Specifically, Nickitas used profanity, abusive, and obscene language when communicating with court staff. He also made false and disparaging comments about a judge and attempted to exert improper influence over a judge.
As required by court rules, Nickitas notified the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation of the Minnesota suspension. The OLR then filed a complaint and motion on July 21, 2023, asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to impose identical discipline. Nickitas did not object to the suspension but requested it be applied retroactively to run concurrently with the Minnesota sanction. However, the OLR opposed a retroactive suspension, noting Nickitas had made the same request unsuccessfully in 2014. On December 15, 2023, the Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed with the OLR and declined to make the 120-day suspension retroactive.
The Wisconsin suspension will take effect on January 19, 2024. Nickitas must comply with rules governing suspended attorneys and meet reinstatement conditions before practicing law in Wisconsin again. This was the third disciplinary action against Nickitas to result in reciprocal discipline between the two states.
The Disposition states:
“IT IS ORDERED that the license of Peter James Nickitas to practice law in Wisconsin is suspended for a period of 120 days, effective January 19, 2024.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Nickitas is an employment and labor attorney in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He attended the University of Minnesota Law School, graduating in 1990. He acquired his law license in Wisconsin in 1991.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.