Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Lawyers

On page 2 of the October 9, 2013 Oneida Business Committee Regular Meeting Agenda is the following:

XIV. Action in open session on items from Executive Session Discussion meeting of Oct. 8, 2013

D. New Business/Requests

        1. E-poll: Retro-approve Lati Hill Attorney ET contract to provide legal services to Legislative Operating Committee, Sept. 30, 2013-Feb. 28, 2014

Sponsor: Jo Anne House

Lati Hill is the brother of Ronald ‘Tehassi’ (‘Sore Loser‘) Hill Jr., and according to Lati’s recently updated LinkedIn page he claims to be:

Staff attorney, Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin

Attorney At Law, Oneida Nation, October 2013–Present

(10/13/2013 PDF copy.)

Here’s the potential ethics/legal problem for the Oneida Law Office and Lati Hill:

Wisbar.org’s ‘Lawyer Search‘ shows no record of Lati Hill being licensed to practice law in Wisconsin, and Elder Advisor Yvonne Metivier reports that Oneida Staff Attorney Michelle Mays (LinkedIn) said that Lati Hill is actually scheduled to take the Wisconsin Bar License Exam in February 2014, which – if true – could mean that, not only is Lati Hill not currently licensed to practice as an ‘Attorney At Law’ in the State of Wisconsin as advertised, he might be violating Wisconsin law and the Chief Counsel and Oneida Law Office may be facilitating that violation.

Has so-called ‘Attorney’ Lati Hill passed a Bar exam anywhere?

As Oneida Eye reported in a previous post (Crying All the Way To Bay Bank), misrepresenting oneself as an attorney who’s licensed to practice in the State of Wisconsin is a crime that can result in fines and jail time or both (WI Statute Section 757.30, 3):

(1) Every person who without having first obtained a license to practice law as an attorney of record in this state, as provided by law, practices law within the meaning of sub. (2), or purports to be licensed to practice law as an attorney within the meaning of sub. (3), shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $500 or imprisoned not more than one year in the county jail or both, and in addition may be punished as for a contempt. 

(2) Every person who appears as agent, representative or attorney, for or on behalf of any other person, or any firm, partnership, association or corporation in any action or proceeding in or before any court of record, circuit or supplemental court commissioner, or judicial tribunal of the United States, or of any state, or who otherwise, in or out of court, for compensation or pecuniary reward gives professional legal advice not incidental to his or her usual or ordinary business, or renders any legal service for any other person, or any firm, partnership, association or corporation, shall be deemed to be practicing law within the meaning of this section.

(3) Every person who uses the words attorney at law, lawyer, solicitor, counselor, attorney and counselor, proctor, law, law office, or other equivalent words in connection with his or her name or any sign, advertisement, business card, letterhead, circular, notice, or other writing, document or design, the evident purpose of which is to induce others to believe or understand the person to be authorized to practice law or who in any other manner represents himself or herself either verbally or in writing, directly or indirectly, as authorized to practice law in this state, shall be deemed to be purporting to be licensed to practice law as an attorney within the meaning of this section.

Did Chief Counsel Jo Anne House intentionally approve a non-licensed pretender for Emergency/Temporary Staff Attorney to the Legislative Operating Committee, and did she and the OLO condone the illegal advertising of false representation of legal credentials?

What responsibilities do the Tribal Chairperson and Business Committee have to hold Tribal staff accountable for potential liabilities resulting from possible personal & corporate incompetence, negligence, or malfeasance, questionable or erroneous legal reporting, or potentially inappropriate or illegal hiring or advertising of phony credentials and employment, and possibly unethical or illegal self-regulation by the Oneida Law Office & Chief Counsel?

What avenues does General Tribal Council have to address these same issues?

 


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