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Duluth attorney reinstated

The Minnesota Supreme Court has reinstated suspended attorney William D. Paul and placed him on supervised probation for a four-year period.

Paul was suspended indefinitely for a minimum of four months in February 2012 and he petitioned for reinstatement in May 2013. During his supervision, Paul will be monitored by a licensed Minnesota attorney appointed by the Director of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. Paul will be limited to 25 open cases during his first two years of probation. After two years, Paul can request that the limit be increased or removed. Paul is also prohibited from representing clients in contested family law matters during his first year of probation, after which time he can request that the family law restriction be moved.

Paul has an extensive disciplinary history. Since he was licensed to practice law in Minnesota in 1985, Paul has received “five admonitions, one public reprimand, and has been placed on supervised probation twice,” according to the February disciplinary order. This probationary period is his third. Prior misconduct has included “instructing investigators working for him to directly contact a represented party and then ratifying the misconduct by attempting to use the admissions gained in that communication; failing to handle a matter with adequate diligence and promptness; failing to communicate with clients; failing to pay a valid, law-related judgment entered against him; failing to promptly return a file to a client; engaging in a pattern of improperly depositing fee and cost advances in his business account; failing to safeguard client funds; failing to cooperate with a disciplinary investigation; failing to provide an accounting of his attorney fees upon request of a client; and conditioning a refund of attorney fees upon a client agreeing not to file a professional responsibility complaint, according to the disciplinary order.


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