Man admits law practice was illegal

Flannigan -
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A former Clinton attorney who disappeared five years ago, leaving behind his family and mortgage, recently pleaded guilty to the unlawful practice of law.

Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock sentenced Patrick Flannigan to 365 days in jail with 275 days suspended. With 90 days credit for time served, Flannigan has already done the time.

Hancock also ordered Flannigan to pay $2,276 in fines and fees and remain on community supervision for a year.

Flannigan was picked up last October when he crossed the Canadian border into Detroit. He had been wanted on a $50,000 warrant from Island County after he was charged in 1997 with first-degree theft and the unlawful practice of law.

The state bar association suspended Flannigan from practicing in June 1995 because he failed to pay his bar dues. But in September 1995, Flannigan took on an estate case from a woman and received $2,750 from her even though he was no longer licensed. Then "over the next three months Flannigan did almost no work," court documents state.

The client learned in December 1995 that Flannigan was no longer licensed, so she filed a complaint with the Island County Sheriff's Office. On the same day, the report states, Flannigan's wife reported he was missing and possibly suicidal.

Over the next four months, he was reported to be in both Illinois and Florida.

The theft charge against Flannigan was dropped as part of a plea bargain.

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