Probably Not the Headline the Wisconsin Supreme Court Wanted | FREE WHITEWATER

Probably Not the Headline the Wisconsin Supreme Court Wanted

Todd Richmond of the Associated Press reports Former drug smuggler can practice law in Wisconsin, state Supreme Court rules

The 4-3 ruling reverses a decision from the Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners to block Abby Padlock from becoming an attorney in the state.

According to court documents, Padlock became a drug smuggler to earn money so she could become an international language instructor. Police stopped her and a friend as they were driving through Minnesota in 2015 and discovered 114 pounds of marijuana in their vehicle that they were moving from Oregon to Wisconsin. Police also discovered $30,000 in her house that she had been paid for the job.

Padlock was charged with two felony drug counts. The charges were reduced to one count of misdemeanor marijuana possession. She was sentenced to three days in jail, placed on probation for two years and ordered to pay a $30,000 forfeiture.


The Board of Examiners held a hearing last year on Padlock’s application. Two law school faculty members vouched for her, but her prospects dimmed further after she testified before the board that two weeks before she was arrested in 2015 she had participated in another drug run from Oregon to Wisconsin for $10,000. She had never revealed that to the law school.


But the Supreme Court said she can be a lawyer anyway. The majority said that the court in the past has certified applicants to the board despite an adverse determination from the board, six years have gone by since her arrest and the law school faulty vouched for her. The majority ordered the board to admit her with no conditions.

Hope springs eternal.

The case is In the Matter of the Bar Admission of Abby D. Padlock v. Board of Bar Examiners, 2021 WI 69.  The opinion of the high court appears below —

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