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Supreme Court temporarily suspends Willmar attorney

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Supreme Court has temporarily suspended the authority of a well-known Willmar attorney to practice law.

In an order filed Friday afternoon, the court immediately suspended George E. Hulstrand Jr. from the practice of law pending final resolution of a petition for disciplinary action. The petition and supplemental petitions were filed against him Oct. 4, 2016, Nov. 4, 2016, and July 25, 2017.

The order follows a recommendation by a referee that Hulstrand be suspended from practice pending the completion of the matter.

The petitions against Hulstrand were filed with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. They include allegations of professional misconduct in the handling of cases during 2012, 2013 and 2015. The complaints allege he stopped working on a divorce case, failed to make progress in a child custody case and failed to file documents in a bankruptcy case in a timely fashion with the court.

Hulstrand was out of town Friday and had not been able to review the court's order when reached by the West Central Tribune.

He told the Tribune that he "had made some mistakes'' and explained his situation in a hearing held before the referee Thursday.

Hulstrand said a previously undiagnosed case diabetes was largely — but not completely — responsible for the actions alleged against him. He said he had no idea that he had the disease until a friend urged him to see a physician. When he was diagnosed, Hulstrand said the physician told him that he had a case of diabetes that significantly affected his abilities at times.

Hulstrand said he missed some court appearances when he had the dates written in his book, and made other mistakes he attributed to the illness.

He also challenges some of the allegations against him.

Hulstrand said he will continue to respond to the petition as it remains under consideration by the state Supreme Court.

He has practiced law since 1976.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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