Ex-Jackson County DA responds to misconduct allegations.

Byline: Erika Strebel, erika.strebel@wislawjournal.com

A former Jackson County district attorney is challenging allegations that he engaged in criminal behavior that violated attorney-ethics rules.

The Office of Lawyer Regulation filed a complaint in September charging James Ritland, of Black River Falls-based James C. Ritland Law Office, with one count of misconduct.

Lawyer-regulators alleged that Ritland broke the attorney-ethics rule prohibiting criminal acts that reflect adversely on a lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer. The OLR specifically pointed to how a special prosecutor had charged Ritland in 2016 with, among other things, felony prostitution and maintaining a drug trafficking place.

Ritland in 2017 pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of attempted adultery and one count of disorderly conduct. The remaining charges were dismissed but were read in for sentencing. Ritland spent 25 days in jail and 12 months on probation.

The OLR is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to suspend Ritland's license for six months.

Ritland filed an answer to the OLR's complaint on Nov. 29, asking the high court to dismiss the charges. He also denied the OLR's allegation that he had broken an attorney-ethics rule and admitted to...

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