Tim Kay is close to becoming a legal system unto himself. In the town of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, Tim Kay defended Robert John “R.J.” Manders, a businessman, on his third drunken-driving conviction. One week later, he was prosecuting Manders for trespass. That’s right, Kay is both a defense counsel and prosecutor in the town.
Previously, Kay has prosecuted Manders for disorderly conduct, unsafe boating, theft and other charges. (To say the least, Manders appears to be something of a local hazard, even though he is repeatedly described in articles as a “prominent businessman.”) Manders is the president of the Okauchee Area Business Association and hired Kay to defend him on the drunken-driving charge and also to represent him in a divorce.
So, Kay has confidential information from Manders as a client and has received money from him — yet Kay sees no problem in serving as a prosecutor against his client. He receives $20,000 a year for the municipal court work representing the Town of Oconomowoc and the Village of Oconomowoc Lake.
Municipal Judge Douglas Stern was . . . well . . . stern with Kay. He expressed his unhappiness with the past relationship, saying that it did not “pass the smell test.” Yet, at Kay’s urging, agreed to the dismissal Dec. 26, dropping a charge that Manders had trespassed on a neighbor’s pier on Okauchee Lake.
Tom Martin, a former Town Board member, is critical of Kay, saying “Tim Kay has got his hands in too many pies. He’s in with the good old boys.”
It is hard to see how an attorney could conclude that these arrangements do not violate basic principles of professional conduct and legal ethics.
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