Supreme Court offices

Office of Lawyer Regulation

The Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) is an agency of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. OLR receives grievances relating to lawyer misconduct, conducts investigations, and prosecutes violations of lawyer ethics rules.

Contact information

Office of Lawyer Regulation
Keith Sellen, Director
110 East Main Street, Suite 315
Madison, WI 53703-3383
Phone: (608)267-7274 or (877) 315-6941
Fax: (608) 267-1959

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About OLR and the lawyer regulation system

The Wisconsin Supreme Court created the lawyer regulatory system in 2000. The system assists the Court in supervising the practice of law and protecting the public from misconduct by lawyers.

For additional information see:

Detailed information about ethical standards, organizational structure, and grievance procedures are contained in the following Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules (SCRs):

News

SCR Chapter 20 now available: A document with annotations to the ethics rule is available as a research resource. Download here Adobe PDF

Supreme Court re-creates trust account rule; amends related rules: On April 4, 2016, the Wisconsin Supreme Court repealed and re-created SCR 20:1.15—Safekeeping property; trust accounts and fiduciary accounts, and amended SCR 20:1.0, SCR 20:1.5 and SCR 22.39, effective July 1, 2016. Order, Petition No. 14-07. The changes to SCR 20:1.15 will expand the use of electronic transactions in trust and fiduciary accounts beyond the current limits of accepting payments for legal fees and costs, and collecting debts. Read more PDF.

Credit Union Share Insurance now covers IOLTAs: On December 18, 2014, President Barack Obama signed the Credit Union Share Insurance Fund Parity Act, which provides insurance coverage, comparable to FDIC insurance coverage, for funds held in IOLTA accounts at federally insured credit unions. Read more PDF.

Find information about recent disciplinary cases, upcoming reinstatement hearings and pending public cases in the services for public section.

Scam alerts:
May 2015 - “Wire Scam in Real Estate Transactions” OLR has received notice of a wire transfer scam targeting real estate proceeds held in lawyer trust accounts. Read more Adobe PDF.
January 2015 - “Attorney Check Scam” The FBI recently issued a public service announcement regarding a scam targeting law firms and other businesses that regularly perform wire transfers. Read more Adobe PDF.
October 2013 - If you receive an e-mail saying that your IOLTA account has "insufficient funds," DO NOT open the attachment. Read more Adobe PDF.

Upcoming trust account management seminars

Filing a grievance

Grievances can be filed by telephone, mail or e-mail. For information about filing a grievance and the process involved visit the services for public section.

Lawyer status and history

While OLR is required to keep information about grievances and private discipline confidential, OLR may provide information regarding a lawyer's license status and public discipline, including public reprimands, license suspensions and revocations.

For information regarding a lawyer's current status and public disciplinary history, consult any or all of the following:

Search lawyer status and history
Wisconsin State Bar lawyer search (external link)
Compendium of Professional Discipline
Recent disciplinary cases
Reinstatement hearings
Pending public cases

Trust Account Program

Lawyers have fiduciary obligations to safeguard and account for the funds and property of clients and others in their possession. OLR is responsible for overseeing lawyers' compliance with Wisconsin's trust account rule, Supreme Court Rule (SCR) 20:1.15. For further information regarding lawyer trust accounts, including record keeping requirements, overdraft reporting, IOLTA compliance, and annual certifications visit the services for attorneys section.

Financial institutions: For further information on lawyer trust accounts, lawyer fiduciary accounts, overdraft reporting, IOLTA requirements, credit card trust accounts, and prohibited transactions, visit the information for financial institutions page.

Lawyer fees

Lawyer fees are subject to many regulatory requirements. They must be reasonable. Advanced fees must be refunded if unearned. Lawyers have alternatives for handling advanced fees. For more detailed information about fees and fee agreements, see the services for attorneys Adobe PDF section .

Pro hac vice admission

For information on pro hac vice admission and the application form see the services for attorneys section.

Assistance from other organizations

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