State Supreme Court revokes law license of SIST attorney: Eisenberg's license had been suspended in 2004

The Shawano Leader, Wisconsin/February 19, 2010

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has revoked the law license of a Milwaukee attorney long known for his flamboyant behavior, but perhaps best known locally for representing the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology in a host of civil complaints.

The court ruling was issued Wednesday and filed Thursday upholding a decision by the Office of Lawyer Regulation to revoke the license of Alan Eisenberg as of April 1.

"It is a death sentence," Eisenberg said in an interview with the Shawano Leader Thursday afternoon. "It is a catastrophic disaster that reaches into every corner of my life - emotionally, physically, medically, financially."

Eisenberg, 68, has the right to re-apply for his law license in five years, but there is no guarantee it would be granted.

Though, according to Eisenberg, he has practiced in all 50 states and five countries, he is licensed only in Wisconsin.

The complaint against Eisenberg was not related to his representation of SIST or any other local cases.

The court said Eisenberg engaged in a campaign to harass and intimidate a suspected domestic abuse victim whose husband he was representing. The court called his behavior in that case "the latest in a long line of episodes of misconduct" that have tainted Eisenberg's 44-year-legal career.

"The facts of this case have served only to heighten our concern that Attorney Eisenberg is apparently unable to conform his conduct to the standards expected of all members of the Wisconsin bar," the court wrote in Wednesday's ruling.

"In light of the aggravated nature of the misconduct and Attorney Eisenberg's extensive disciplinary history, we conclude that no sanction short of revocation would be sufficient to protect the public, achieve deterrence, and impress upon Attorney Eisenberg the seriousness of his misconduct," the ruling stated.

The court also agreed with the Office of Lawyer Regulation that Eisenberg should be assessed the full costs of the proceeding, or about $31,000.

Eisenberg said it was unprecedented for the court to consider his previous record of disciplinary action in ruling on a complaint, which - according to the ruling - would not have led to revocation by itself.

"I'm the only one in history," Eisenberg said.

Eisenberg said he now would probably focus on his real estate and insurance services businesses. His real estate company is handling a number of SIST properties in Shawano.

Eisenberg has a long history of civil and criminal cases in this area, including a Waupaca County homicide case that received nationwide attention.

Eisenberg defended Jennifer Patri of Weyauwega in the 1977 shotgun-killing of her husband, calling it "the classic case of a battered woman" and describing for the jury years of alleged torture and abuse at the hands of her husband, Robert. The jury ultimately convicted Patri of manslaughter rather than murder. She received a 10-year sentence and was paroled in 1981.

The state's Circuit Court Access web site show nearly 200 active cases pending with which Eisenberg is involved. But that doesn't include municipal cases, which Eisenberg said brings the number closer to 500. All of them will either have to be resolved or find new representation by April 1.

Eisenberg has more than a dozen active cases pending in Shawano County, including a court trial scheduled for March 25 representing Darlene Sense in an appeal of a municipal citation involving the Kiryat Hotel issued by the City of Shawano.

Eisenberg also has a scheduling conference slated later this month in Shawano County Circuit Court representing Gresham businessman Curtis Hoffman on charges of obstruction, disorderly conduct and bail jumping.

Several civil suits against SIST and its subsidiaries in which Eisenberg was involved are also pending, but have been on hold since SIST declared bankruptcy last year.

Eisenberg was admitted to practice law in Wisconsin in 1966. In 1970 he was suspended from the practice of law for one year for pursuing a course of vindictive and reckless harassment and psychological persecution of a judge, according to the Supreme Court ruling.

In 1988 he was suspended from the practice of law for two years for conflict of interest, offensive personality, and dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation, the ruling stated.

The ruling goes on to detail a public reprimand in 1996 and another one-year suspension in 2004 for engaging in eight counts of misconduct committed in five separate matters.

His license to practice law was reinstated in 2007.

On May 11, 2007, the Office of Lawyer Regulation issued a complaint against Eisenberg alleging two counts of misconduct in violation of the Wisconsin Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys.

Eisenberg has proudly embraced his reputation as an aggressive litigator in an eclectic mix of criminal and civil cases. He ran for governor as an independent in 2002.

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