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Disciplinary Proceedings Against Gamino

Supreme Court of Wisconsin
753 N.W.2d 521 (2008)


Facts

Carlos Gambino (defendant) was an attorney  practicing in Wisconsin. Gambino agreed to represent E.B. and N.B., a married couple. E.B. and N.B. had been married for almost 25 years and wished to finalize their divorce. At the time Gambino agreed to represent E.B. and N.B., the parties had attorneys of their own. However, E.B. and N.B. wished to save money by hiring Gambino. Gambino never filed motions to substitute himself as counsel. Gambino also failed to have E.B. or N.B. acknowledge their consent to the conflict of interest arising out of Gambino’s joint representation. Neither party appeared for the divorce proceeding, and Gambino failed to appear on their behalf. Thus, the court set the case for a dismissal hearing. No one appeared at the dismissal hearing, and the court dismissed the action. Months later, Gambino reopened the divorce case, but did so representing only E.B. Gambino failed to inform N.B. that he was no longer representing her until the date of the final divorce hearing. There were numerous concerns surrounding Gambino’s handling of the divorce, including failure to obtain the value of E.B.’s retirement accounts, communicate with N.B., include all assets in the financial disclosure, and inquire about N.B.’s medical history, including a history of domestic violence. The Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR) (plaintiff) filed a complaint against Gambino for these violations, and the referral judge recommended that Gambino be suspended for 18 months and required to complete 24 credits of ethics-based continuing legal education courses. The case then went to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 22.17(2).

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Holding and Reasoning (Per Curiam)

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