Disbarred attorney Robert Menard, who prosecutors say pocketed or mishandled as a lot as $1 million from customers and his ex-law spouse, was sentenced to six months in the Residence of Correction Thursday.
In addition, Milwaukee County Choose Milton Childs also sentenced the once-popular law firm to 4 years in prison, adopted by four many years of prolonged supervision. The decide, however, stayed the jail time. He also requested Menard to do 100 several hours of community provider.
The sentence was imposed near the end of a virtually two-hour sentencing hearing throughout which 4 of Menard’s victims – some sobbing or keeping again tears – informed the court Menard caused them money and emotional suffering. A tearful Menard apologized for his steps — an apology the judge said he accepted on behalf of Milwaukee County.
Menard in January pleaded responsible to 4 felony counts of theft and embezzlement for bilking shoppers and his now-former law partner.
On Thursday about two dozen people sat in the courtroom’s gallery, with Menard’s family members and close friends on the remaining aspect of the courtroom and the victims and their supporters on the other facet of the aisle.
They listened quietly as a trembling and softly sobbing Menard pled for leniency and acknowledged he broke the law and violated his oath as an lawyer.
“I betrayed the have confidence in of my clientele, mates, family and the occupation,” Menard reported. “I am ashamed and will wander a greater and truthful path.”
Assistant District Lawyer Nicolas Heitman urged Childs to sentence Menard, 59, to four several years in prison for stealing from his shoppers.
“His legislation diploma was a tool to steal,” Heitman said.
At just one place, the prosecutor held up a duplicate of the oath lawyers choose and tore it in half.
“That’s what (Menard) did so several times,” Heitman said. “He made use of his occupation, his education and learning, his situation to steal — just like a robber utilizes a gun.”
Menard had practiced law for about 30 yrs and was a longtime spouse in the company of Derzon & Menard. The now-defunct organization was a repeated advertiser on athletics radio and billed alone as the legislation agency for “average Joe” and used the fictional “Joe Bob” as its mascot.
Childs mentioned that quite a few of the clients in Menard’s now-defunct regulation organization had been presently hurting simply because they experienced been wounded on the position and hired him to tackle worker’s payment claims.
“For the most portion, the victims were being (previously) victims of one thing else” when Menard stole from them.
Menard’s legal professional, Craig Mastantuono, argued Menard has currently been punished, noting that his shopper is no more time practicing law mainly because he was disbarred in 2020.
“The decline of one’s job is tricky to reduce,” Mastantuono explained.
Despite the fact that Choose Child’s recognized Menard’s apology, the felon’s uncle did not and his ex-law partner did not.
“Our youngsters missed opportunities directly since of him,” claimed Alan Derzon, his previous regulation companion. Derzon stated in a target influence statement that he missing $286,796 to Menard.
Philip Menard said his nephew’s steps triggered a rift in the family members and that Robert Menard nevertheless owed him $144,000. He said he requested his nephew a few a long time in the past to stand for him in a vehicle incident scenario that resulted in a $500,000 settlement for the uncle.
In 2018 Philip Menard instructed the Journal Sentinel he had not found a penny of the settlement. Philip Menard and his spouse, Joyce Fletcher-Menard sued their nephew in 2018 and received a $329,333 judgment.
“I wanted to believe that him and consider he would not choose gain of me,” Philip Menard mentioned in courtroom Thursday. He extra that his nephew “really should shell out much more than a few several years in prison.”
“A person we trustworthy experienced obviously taken benefit of us,” Fletcher-Menard wrote in a statement to the court docket.
A listening to on how substantially restitution Menard owes will be held later on.
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This short article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Disbarred law firm Robert Menard was sentenced to six months in jail for ripping off shoppers