A Wausau attorney with a history of being disciplined by the Supreme Court was ordered Friday to pay $4,525 in restitution to the heirs of a former client or his law license will be suspended.
Ryan Lister must make the payment by Aug. 27, or his license will be suspended until the money is paid, according to a decision released Friday by the Office of Lawyer Regulation. Lister also must make $500 monthly payments to the OLR beginning Oct. 1 to repay court costs and other judgments against him.
The court suspended Lister’s license for five months in May 2007 and ordered him to pay $12,209 in restitution to a client after Lister failed to file documents in a landlord-tenant dispute case. Lister was allowed to make $500 monthly payments.
Lister made monthly payments from December 2007 to October 2008 and made sporadic payments after, according to the OLR. The client sent a letter to OLR in September 2009 that said she was facing a serious medical emergency and needed Lister to pay the more than $4,000 she was still owed. The client died in April 2010.
The OLR sought additional discipline against Lister this spring after he only made two payments to his client’s heirs.
Lister told a referee who investigated the case for the OLR that he experienced financial difficulties, but was not indigent and could have consistently paid some money each month.
When reached by phone Friday morning, Lister said he had not seen the ruling and was on his way to court for a daylong hearing and unable to comment.
The Supreme Court has disciplined Lister before.
Lister’s law license was suspended for 60 days in 2010 after the OLR found that Lister committed four counts of misconduct while representing a woman in a 2007 federal lawsuit against Marathon County. He was publicly reprimanded in 1986 by the court for neglecting a client’s legal matters.
Lister has been licensed to practice law in Wisconsin since 1976.
Wausau attorney ordered to repay client’s heirs or face suspension
July 28, 2012
Wausau Daily Herald