Assembly chair says he'll review Kratz matter - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Assembly chair says he'll review Kratz matter

By Bob Schaper - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- The Kratz controversy may lead to changes in how Wisconsin oversees lawyers. A key committee chair in the Assembly says he'll review everything that's happened and make improvements to the law if necessary.

Gary Hebl, chairman of the Judiciary and Ethics Committee, said, "We have a DA in Wisconsin that is alleged to have committed some very dastardly acts."

Hebl, an attorney himself, says the state Supreme Court and its Office of Lawyer Regulation has done a good job in previous cases. And he said if the office had known then what it knows now the outcome may have been different.

"Hindsight being 20/20 I think with more information available, I think if OLR had the information that's currently available to us today, I don't think they would make the same decision," Hebl said

Still, the situation, he said, calls for legislative action.

"I promise you that we will review what happens here when we go back into session in January to determine if any corrections or improvements to our statutes need to take place," he said.

Marsha Mansfield, a UW law professor, says the system of governing Wisconsin's lawyers is similar to those in other states.

"So if you're in private practice, if you're in government work, if you're teaching, you are still required to abide by the rules. And the Office of Lawyer Regulation is the agency that basically polices enforcement of those rules," she said.

She said a key feature is the balancing act between transparency and confidentiality.

"The policy of protecting the public, also the policy of protecting the ability of lawyers to practice," she said.

"Those laws may need to be updated, improved, there may be different language that should be used so that no one who commits these types of activities falls through the cracks and is able to pull a fast one if you will," Hebl said.

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