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Wadena attorneys disciplined

ST. PAUL—The Minnesota Supreme Court recently publicly reprimanded attorneys Matthew Stewart Van Bruggen and Paul Francis Carlson of Wadena, of the Kennedy, Carlson & Van Bruggen firm. The discipline was imposed after Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility filed a petition for disciplinary action against the attorneys.

The petition alleged that the two attorneys committed professional misconduct warranting public discipline—namely, as partners in a law firm, failing to supervise non-lawyer support staff to ensure that the required trust account books and records were maintained, the trust account records that were maintained were accurate, and that client funds were deposited into trust; failing to safeguard client funds; commingling earned fees in the trust account; and negligently misappropriating client funds.

Parties jointy recommend that the appropriate discipline is a public reprimand followed by two years probation, subject to terms and conditions including remaining compliant.

A statement from attorneys Carlson and Van Bruggen stated that they reported the issues, when discovered, to the OLPR and cooperated fully with the investigation and agreed to its recommended discipline.

"We respect and acknowledge the decision released by the OLPR and regret the situation occurred," the attorneys said in a statement. "It is important to recognize that no client lost any money and all funds have been paid or distributed as required. We accept full responsibility for mistakes made in our accounting process. We are proud of our work as attorneys and remain dedicated to the profession and being able to serve and help our clients resolve challenges and take advantage of opportunities."