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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

September 20, 2005

she wiggles her tooth

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 6:56 pm

In an interview with Lidona Beer in 2001, Peggy Lyles was asked to

name some of her own haiku that she liked the best.  She included

the following quartet (which dagosan wishes he had written): 




and my son’s voice deepening
           the wind chimes





wild persimmons
a woman at the roadside
wiggles her last tooth




purple twilight spilling frogs



froglegs   froglegs flip

boarding call
the ripe banana flavor
of the small one’s cheek


To Hear the Rain (Brooks Books, 2002)



five crew sculls

dance with the sun —

the duck never looks up


[Sept. 21, 2005]  


A year after the ABA passed its Model Rule requiring that “Each

lawyer admitted to the active practice of law shall certify to the

highest court of the jurisdiction…whether the lawyer is currently

covered by professional liability insurance, ” HALT offers a guide

to the status of malpractice disclosure rules in every state.  Only

Alaska, New Hampshire, Ohio and South Dakota require that un-

insured lawyers directly disclose their insurance status to their

clients.  Some states, such as Illinois, have the information readily

accessible on bar counsel’s website.  Many states have done nothing.

Only Oregon requires that lawyers carry malpractice insurance.


HALT has also issued a Consumer Advisory for California, reminding folk that  full moon neg

Governor Arnold must decide in the next few weeks whether to sign important


California is one signature away from enacting an important small

claims reform bill. The state legislature has passed two identical bills,

Assembly Bill 1459 and Senate Bill 422, which would increase the

amount for which individuals could sue in small claims court from

$5,000 to $7,500, the state’s first increase in 15 years. The legislation

would also mandate improved training for small claims judges and

would increase the availability of court-provided translators and

advisors in small claims courts. 

As HALT says, “These bills are a real opportunity for California to expand the

availability of the one court that actually works well for ordinary people.” To

contact Gov. Schwarenegger, you can use the form at,


“Tiny check”  Thanks to Evan Schaeffer for pointing to our Harvest Moon 2005



tiny check  Do law school applicants need special consumer protection disclosure

rules about costs and bar passage rates?  John Steele says yes, in a Comment, I’m


the delinquent discipline of lawyer Hausmann

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:06 pm

Thanks to the HALT eJournal, I just learned the fascinating story of 

Milwaukee personal-injury lawyer Charles J. Hausmann:

tiny check His firm Hausmann Mc Mally SC is one of the largest p/i firms in

Wisconsin, and he’s been in practice since 1971, with no prior disciplinary



tiny check In June 2002, Hausmann pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges for taking  jailbird neg 

kickbacks of $77,000 from a local chiropractor — that was 20% of the fees

that were charged for medical services to over 200 of Hausmann’s uninsured

clients, who were never told of the referral arrangement.  (The plea was

conditional, allowing him to appeal the denial of a motion to dismiss.)

“tinyredcheck” Hausmann would have the chiropractor write checks to

third parties, including a charity whose bank account

Hausmann controlled (and which used some of the funds

for landscaping at Hausmann’s residence).  One of the

charities named Hausmann its “attorney of the year” in

August 2003. [many more details on the skullduggery —

how the scheme was structured and where the money

went — can be found at Paragraphs 6 – 8 of this opinion]


tiny check In September 2003, Hausmann lost his appeal to the 7th Circuit, and on

November 28, 2003, he started a 60-day sentence at the minimum security

prison at Oxford.   Hausmann told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal that “I

expect to pay my penalty and come back and be the most caring and

empathetic lawyer in history.”

the thief
is just as he is…
hazy moon




bullG Despite all of the above, until August 2005, the Wisconsin Bar would 

inform anyone who inquired that Charles J. Hausmann was an “attorney

in good standing.”  He continued his practice, using brochures that urge

injured persons to “Find a lawyer and law firm they can really trust.”  


tiny check You see, the Office of Lawyer Regulation never bothered to file a complaint

against Hausmann until January 15, 2004, and Wisconsin’s Supreme Court

didn’t issue its opinion in the matter until July of this year, ordering a one-year

suspension effective August 30, 2005. Matter of Hausmann, Case #2004AP156-D,

filed July 19, 2005).  

tiny check The Office of Lawyer Regulation [OLR] argued that Charles

Hausmann deserved a two-year suspension, as he failed

to admit to any harm to his 200 clients or conflict of

interest.  The Referee was very impressed with Hausmann’s

charitable service — calling it “far above anything I have ever

seen before” — and recommended a one-year suspension. 

Pointing to his restitution and long record of community

service and lack of prior discipline, Hausmann wanted 5

months. He refused to call the payments kickbacks, but

did concede it was an “ill-conceived plan.”

Many observers, including HALT’s Suzanne Blonder (Fox 6 News, “Justice

Delayed?”, Aug. 29, 2005), believe that Hausmann’s discipline came far

too late and is far too lenient.   I agree with Blonder and the OLR.

harvest moon–
wherever you are
someone’s annoyed



There are a few other interesting wrinkles to this story:

  • A constant, public critic of the lax disciplinary

    process in this case is Michael F. Hupy, a

    p/i lawyer and competitor of Hausmann.  Hupy

    even has a “consumer tips” page on his website 

    warning the public about Hausmann.

  • to keep its name, despite the suspension. 

    Lawyer Richard Cayo argues  “There are a lot

    of good lawyers under that trade name that is

    now fully branded. They should be permitted

    the use of their corporate identity.”

  • Lawyer Hausmann conceived and sponsored

    this mural of Phoenix Rising, which appears

    on a building he owns in Milwaukee’s now-

    ascending West End, where he grew up. 

    Although his professional death won’t be for

    500 years, like the Phoenix, I bet Hausman

    is planning to emulate the mythic bird

Does this guy deserve a break?  What did Hausmann as a fiduciary owe to

his clients?   Notice of the arrangement with Dr. Rise?  Passing on the

discounts to benefit the clients?  What did the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer

Regulation owe to the public?   An immediate, temporary suspension once

the guilty plea was entered (as Carolyn Elefant suggests in a Comment)?

Once Hausmann lost his appeal?  


update (Sept. 22, 2005): Walter Olson at Point of Law wonders

whether lawyers should be held to higher standards than hotel

concierges, who he claims regularly take kickbacks from restaurants

to which they steer business.   (Until Walter mentioned that I thought

a 60-day sentence was insufficient for Hausmann, I hadn’t given his

jailtime any thought.  Sixty days of “soft time” isn’t really very much,

is it?  The question of white collar prison sentences is much in the

news lately, and I shall leave the topic to the experts, e.g., here, here

and there.)




aiming their butts
at the moon…
rice field geese


all poems by Kobayashi Issa 

translated by David G. Lanoue  

                                                                                                                                                    jailbird neg flip



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