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.
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
Scroll down the page to learn more about OLR or use the following shortcuts:
- Filing a grievance
- About OLR and the lawyer regulation system
- News and events
- Lawyer status and history
- Trust Account Program
- Lawyer fees
- Pro hac vice admission
- Assistance from other organizations
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:
- Overview of the lawyer regulation system
- Overview of the lawyer regulation process
- Organizational structure
- Annual reports
- 2012 Report on the Lawyer Regulation System
- Lawyer Support and Monitoring Program
Detailed information about ethical standards, organizational structure, and grievance procedures are contained in the following Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules (SCRs):
- Chapter 20A - Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys (Preamble to SCR 20:1.18)
- Chapter 20B - Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys (SCRs 20:2.1 to 20:8.5)
- Chapter 21 - Lawyer Regulation System
- Chapter 22 - Procedures for the Lawyer Regulation System
Petition for E-Banking rules filed: On December 17, 2014, the Office of Lawyer Regulation filed a petition seeking the amendment of several Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules to facilitate electronic banking in lawyer trust accounts and fiduciary accounts. The Petition, which follows over two years of work by the Committee on E-Banking, includes a proposed re-creation of the trust account rule (SCR 20:1.15); amendments to the fee rule (20:1.5) and the rule regarding burden of proof (SCR 22.39); along with the creation of Guidelines for trust account record keeping. The Petition and the supporting memorandum, including the proposed rules, can be found be found here.
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 .
Find information about recent disciplinary cases, upcoming reinstatement hearings and pending public cases in the services for public section.
Scam alerts: 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 . October 2013 - If you receive an e-mail saying that your IOLTA account has "insufficient funds," DO NOT open the attachment. Read more .
Gleason-Larkin Consultation report and the office's responses: The Office of Lawyer Regulation has begun implementing some changes and is studying other changes suggested by consultants who recently undertook a detailed review of the lawyer regulation system. Gleason-Larkin Consultation Initiatives
2014 ethics seminar (Wisconsin Attorneys' Professional Seminar): Experienced practitioners and OLR staff provide practical insights and comprehensive information to help lawyers practice ethically and professionally. Ethics continuing education credit is pending approval. See registration form and court information .
Lawyer status and history search now available: On January 12, 2012, a new online search program for lawyer status, standing, and discipline history debuted. Information about lawyers is now more readily available to everyone. Access the search here. Or, from the court system's main page, on the "how do I" tab follow the link to "find the status/standing of a lawyer." To search, enter the name, bar number, or other information to see a list of all lawyers meeting the search criteria. Select a particular lawyer for information about the lawyer's firm and contact information, current status and standing, any pending public disciplinary cases (with a link to the case on the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Access site), and public disciplinary history (with a link to each final disciplinary order).
Filing a grievance
Grievances can be filed by telephone or in writing. 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:
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 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 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
- Contact information for lawyer regulation agencies in other states (external link)
- State Bar of Wisconsin (external link)
- Board of Bar Examiners
- Wisconsin Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection (external link)
- Wisconsin Judicial Commission
- Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing (external link)
- Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (external link)
- Fee Arbitration Program (external link)
- District Committee Report template