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Burlington attorney suspended over ethics violations

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A private attorney in Racine County was suspended for six months by the State Supreme Court Thursday for committing 20 ethics violations.  

Suzanne Smith of Burlington was also ordered to pay $13,000 for the costs of prosecuting her. She must also reimburse about $120, after billing the Public Defender's office for criminal appeal work that she never performed.  

The state's Office of Lawyer Regulation originally charged Smith with 22 violations in matters involving four clients. She pleaded no contest to nine counts. A referee later ruled that Smith committed 11 of the other 13 alleged violations.  

The Supreme Court said Smith missed legal deadlines, did not answer clients' questions, performed sub-standard work, and billed clients for work that was never done.  

Smith blamed poor health for her allegations and said the punishment was too harsh. The justices noted a pattern of problems.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)