Byline: Michaela Paukner, email@example.com
A Mequon attorney accused of "blowing off" two of his clients could lose his law license for 60 days.
The OLR filed a complaint against Attorney Benjamin Harris of Benjamin Harris JD LLC in Mequon. The complaint chargesHarris with four counts of misconduct related to failing to communicate with his clients and failing to take the appropriate action in their cases.
Two of the charges involve Theodore Polczynski, who had hired Harris defend him and his companies in three lawsuits. According to the OLR complaint, default judgments were entered against the client on technical grounds in two of the lawsuits because of Harris's conduct.
In a 2017 lawsuit involving a drywall subcontractor, the OLR said Harris failed to appear after filing an answer and affirmative defenses, which resulted in a default judgment against Polczynski for $2,200 in December 2017.
The complaint said Polczynski saw the judgment reflected in the court records and started trying tospeak to Harris, sending him emails saying he was frustrated with the lack of communication and getting the feeling Harris was "blowing me off."
"I have been begging you to resolve this and it seems like you are avoiding doing anything bases (sic) on you ignoring me and my questions," Polczynski wrote in a February 2018 email included in OLR's complaint.
About a week later, Harris filed a Motion to Reopen, but Polczynski said Harris still wasn't communicating with him. Harris stayed on the case until its conclusion in December 2019, when a judgment was granted in favor of the plaintiffs for $900.
In February 2018, Polczynski also retained Harris to defend him in a small-claims lawsuit involving breach of contract and unjust-enrichment claims from a construction subcontractor.
The case was scheduled for mandatory mediation on April 9. According to the complaint, Harris said he had left the mediation center a voicemail saying he had a conflict with the date, but the mediation center files contained no indication that Harris had communicated about the conflict.
The OLR complaint said neither Polczynski nor Harris appeared, but the other parties did. A few days later, a court commissioner filed a default judgment and notice-of-entry judgment in favor of the plaintiffs.
"What is going on with you?" Polczynski asked Harris in an email the day after the judgment was entered, according to the OLR's complaint. "I have asked for you to...