MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- Members of the state's Board of Bar Examiners decided to allow attorney general candidate Scott Hassett and several other attorneys to continue to actively practice law, even though they lack the required number of continuing legal education hours.
Board member Thomas Boykoff said Hassett and six other attorneys had been "misguided by staff" when they were told thirty hours of CLE were required of attorneys returning to an active practice of law after a long hiatus, even though the requirement is sixty hours.
The Board's website suggests the rule on education hours is unequivocal: "The Supreme Court requires the BBE to suspend a lawyer's license is he or she does not comply with continuing legal education requirements."
In July 2009, Hassett's documentation of thirty education hours was accepted by board staff members, even though rules governing required education hours had been made more stringent nearly three months before.
Boykoff said Hassett and the other attorneys had "acted in good faith" in supplying proof of education hours and expecting to be returned to active practice status.
Hassett was inactive for five years, some of that time as he served as Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary.
Democrat Hassett will face Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen in the November election.
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