A Duluth lawyer will stay suspended for at least three additional years after admitting that he used patron price range to pay non-public debts while under investigation for bookkeeping issues. On Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court extended the disciplinary length for Nicholas Schutz, who has not practiced law because he was first suspended almost five years ago. Schutz’s movements constituted an “intentional misappropriation of patron funds,” the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility said in a petition filed with the high court docket.
Schutz unconditionally admitted to the allegations and common the brand new sanction. Schutz, who practiced at Twin Ports Law in downtown Duluth, turned into suspended for a minimum of 90 days in May 2014 after admitting that he failed to hold required trust account books and changed into uncooperative with research with the aid of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. The second disciplinary action arose from his November 2016 petition for reinstatement. He turned over copies of purchaser debts, bank statements, and other statistics as part of a fashionable review system. “Beginning at a while previous to the evaluate duration and continuing via the evaluation duration, (Schutz’s) agree with account always become short enough finances to cover aggregate purchaser balances,” wrote Susan Humiston, director of the state
corporation. “The audit of (Schutz’s) consider account showed evidence of both negligent and intentional misappropriation of the purchaser price range.” Schutz later met with Humiston and recounted that he turned into unable to characteristic precise transactions to character customers due to his failure to keep the right facts in step with the disciplinary petition. However, he asserted that all price ranges had been subsequently earned. “(Schutz’s) misappropriation befell while he became below research for believing account troubles, and it changed into his non-cooperation that prevented the director from discovering the misconduct in advance,” the country enterprise pronounced. While suspended, Humiston stated Schutz had been issued four admonitions for other infractions, such as failing to propose clients of his suspension, operating on a purchaser’s depend after suspension, and failing to offer clients with case updates and billing statements.
The presumptive sanction for Schutz’s misappropriation became disbarment, Humiston said. However, she agreed to, at the same time, propose the 3-12 months suspension based on “the particular statistics of the case.” While Schutz most effectively admitted to the misappropriation when faced, he has “expressed considerable regret” and familiar obligation for his moves, the employer said in a January stipulation. He additionally supplied clinical information displaying a analysis of hysteria and melancholy amid “extreme strain” in his non-public existence. In addition to the suspension, Schutz has to efficiently entire the expert responsibility portion of the country bar exam before he may be reinstated, the Supreme Court ruled. Schutz handled family law, property-making plans, and immigration cases before his suspension.