Lawyer Can�t Avoid UPL By Couching Work as Nonlegal

The tale of Richard Bolte has many lessons, it seems. First, if you�re not admitted to the bar in a particular state, don�t practice law there. Second, even if you think the work you�re doing for a client isn�t technically practicing law, refer to rule one.

Another lesson, suggests Bolte�s lawyer, Franklyn M. Gimbel of Milwaukee, is that "no good deed goes unpunished."

On July 19, the Wisconsin Supreme Court publicly reprimanded Bolte for performing legal work in Colorado without a license and for transferring property in an attempt to evade a creditor. In the Matter of Disciplinary Proceedings Against Bolte, No. 2003AP1184-D, 2005 WI 132.

This happened despite the fact Bolte had disclosed to his client that he was not licensed in Colorado and had created an agreement with his client that, he believed, did not involve the practice of law, according to the findings of fact and conclusions of law adopted by the court.

Details here from the ABA Journal.