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Lawyer charged with taking client fees, but doing no work

OLPR files petition for discipline against Brainerd attorney

The Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility filed a petition for disciplinary action with the Minnesota Supreme court this week against Brainerd attorney Lawrence Walter Ulanowski.

Ulanowski was admitted to practice law in 2001 and was suspended last year. He has been disciplined four times prior for violating the rules of professional conduct.

He is charged by the office with several counts. The first allegation is that he took about $1,400 in 2010 from a client to represent her in a bankruptcy. He failed to prepare the necessary paperwork in the case and did not return the fees.

In 2011 he again was hired to represent a client in a bankruptcy case. The client paid Ulanowski $800. Ulanowski was suspended from practicing shortly after and had not filed the necessary paperwork in the case. The client took him to conciliation court to get the money back and was awarded judgment. Ulanowski has not refunded the money.

In a second count, Ulanowski is alleged to have taken another retainer in a personal bankruptcy and failed to file a petition or refund the money. That client filed a conciliation court claim against Ulanowski, who didn’t show up at the hearing. The court awarded the client a judgment of $875, which Ulanowski had not paid, the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility reported.

Ulanowski is also charged with failure to cooperate with the office’s investigation into complaints made against him by former clients. He declined to provide written responses to the complaints made against him and several letters sent to his address in Brainerd were refused or returned to the office.

The office further alleges that he improperly destroyed old client files. Boxes and bags of legal documents were found in a dumpster behind Ulanowski’s law office in 2011 after his suspension. He has 20 days to respond to the complaint.

According to Ulanowski’s law firm’s website, he earned his law degree from the William Mitchell College of Law in 2001.

One comment

  1. It was useful when you would include a link to the petition in these stories.

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