Justices: BBE properly rejected bar applicant.


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

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has affirmed the Board of Bar Examiners' decision not to admit a bar applicant who, among other things, had failed to disclose a harassment conviction.

The BBE is the agency charged with administering the state's bar exam, deciding who may practice law in the state and ensuring lawyers fulfill their continuing-legal-education requirements.

The court's decision on Friday stems from the BBE's rejection of Daniel Hausserman's application for admission to practice law in Wisconsin. Hausserman has been working in Appleton as an assistant at Gill & Gill since 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile.

In refusing to admit Hausserman, the board said he had failed to disclose a conviction for harassment in Iowa involving a former girlfriend and had sought to minimize the misconduct that he did disclose.

Hausserman requested a hearing, which he had in January. But the board in March again rejected his bid for admission. He appealed the decision in April. The justices heard oral arguments in the case in October.

Hausserman, represented by Terry Johnson of von Briesen & Roper, contended that he had taken responsibility for his past mistakes, which he said would not be repeated.

The BBE, on the other hand, contended that Hausserman was minimizing the importance of his past behavior and thus had shown "repeated and blatant disregard for authority and the rule of law."

The justices on Friday sided with the BBE, noting that it had two main concerns. The first concern, which the justices deemed the most significant, was about Hausserman's behavior during a seven-month window during and after his last year at Drake University Law School. Hausserman started dating a Drake undergraduate student, B.F., in early 2014 while he was in law school. By December 2014, the relationship had ended but the two continued to communicate. Hausserman thought the relationship would continue.

Hausserman continued reaching out to the student despite the university's telling him not to and banning him from campus. Eventually, he was charged with third-degree sexual harassment. Citing the charges, Iowa's Board of Law Examiners did not permit Hausserman to sit for its bar exam.

Hausserman eventually pleaded guilty. The court put...

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