Friday, January 26, 2007

Iowa's Attorney Ad Disbarment Case Makes NOBC's Case of the Month

Posted by Alan Childress
Previously Mike Frisch had posted (and linked) here on the Iowa Supreme Court's opinion disbarring the anything-for-an-ad attorney Dennis Bjorklund.  And the case made 'Case of the Month' status at the National Organization of Bar Counsel.  It is reported here from NOBC with details and clever commentary showing that the dagger to his license was the material misrepresentations he apparently made during the bar discipline process for the ad (which he claimed was published by a third party without consent).  A taste:  "Evidence was, however, submitted at the disciplinary hearing that the publisher had a telephone number that was, coincidentally, the same as Bjorklund‚Äôs office telephone, save for the last two digits."

Bjorklund's elaborate Rube Goldberg machinery to hide the source of advertising and allow him plausible {?} deniability is both comic and tragic:  When will candidates for the bar and members under investigation get that lack of candor and cooperation with the bar is often worse than the underlying Bridges_of_madison_county_3charge?  As Mike wrote about misleading testimony in the prior bar investigation, "that misconduct should invariably result in severe discipline, as it demonstrates present unfitness to practice law." 

In Bjorklund's long history with the bar discipline process, the Iowa Supreme Court at most reprimanded him for the advertising infractions.  Catching him lying about the ads, and avoiding service of process from the bar by calling himself 'Jake' and outrunning the server (save for a shoe he lost in the chase), meant disbarment.  Doh!

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2007/01/iowas_attorney_.html

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I would like to add to Mr. Childress' comments on the NOBC's "Case of the Month" for December 2006, the disbarrment of Dennis A. Bjorklund. The NOBC added as an "aside" that Bjorklund had written three books on drunk driving defense. I read one of them and found that it was cribbed from a larger volume written by others. Further, the "glowing review" cited by NOBC was probably written by Bjorklund himself. Other gushing "reviews" have appeared on Amazon's site which were written by "Jake Liney," one of Bjorklund's favored pseudonyms, and by "Tom Harbit" Bjorklund's long time partner in crime. As the Iowa Supreme Court noted, dishonesty was and is part of Bjorklund's "standard operating procedure."

Raymond M. Tinnian
305 C Avenue
Kalona, Iowa 52247

Posted by: Raymond Tinnian | Jan 29, 2007 1:21:59 PM

I am researching a book on this subject, and found that most of the "allegations" by the Iowa Supreme Court are fabricated misrepresentations of the truth, and they made a conscious effort to omit evidence that exonerated Mr. Bjorklund. In contrast, the Board relied upon evidence from Attorney Raymond Tinnian, who has a amassed over 40 ethical violations in less than 2 years of practice.

Moreover, the unwritten truth does not reveal that Mr. Bjorklund was zealously challenging the legal system to expose corruption within all branches of government, from the local county attorney's office, county clerk's office, MECCA substance abuse agency, and judicial system, to the probation department, Iowa Supreme Court, and members of the Attorney Ethics Committee. The only truth in the Board's "witch hunt" reportis his name; the rest is pure fabricated fiction.

Wait for my book before passing judgment because the Iowa legal system is highly corrupt and the "good old boy" system is alive and strong to protect the backs of those involved in the cover up. You will find it interesting to know that every corrupt judge and lawyer has been unilaterally promoted based upon their ability to cover up the truth and protect their cronies. Where is justice when those in power control the system? They are allowed to rewrite history in their distorted "truth" in the hope that society will lap it up like Pavlovian dogs. There is more to the story that the lies doled out by the Iowa Supreme Court and Attorney Ethics Board.

Posted by: Gary Baker | Mar 25, 2008 2:53:53 PM

I wont address most of Mr. Baker's comments at this time,as he has obviously accepted the challenge of refuting the work of the Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board. However, based on my own dealings with that board, it is abundantly clear they do exist to keep their "buddies," out of ethical trouble(no matter how evident the ethical violation is) while hammering any attorney who boldly challenges corrupt officials throughout the system in the State of Iowa. Sadly, the corrupt are "judging," those attorneys who are attempting to expose them.

Baker's book most probably will provide accurate information that calls into serious question the ethical practices of more than fifty licensed attorneys in the State of Iowa, as well as a slew of judges, and other "corrupt," officials in high powered positions.

Posted by: Thomas L. Harbit, M.A. | Apr 18, 2008 8:26:30 PM

Our state isn't any better in disciplining its lawyers. Our neighbor's lawyer (who is also our state representative) sent us a cease and desist letter claiming a "civil engineer" had performed a "land survey" by spray-painting a mark on our driveway which he claimed, determined the new "property line." We'd owned the home for almost 20 years and the home had been in my family since 1935. My mother grew up in it.

Rule 4.1 specifically states that an attorney is not supposed to make false statements to a third party. Our neighbor's attorney definitely did. We made a complaint to the Board of Bar Overseers.

The lawyer's phony "engineer" turned out to be his buddy and affiliate. (We hired a P.I. to find out who he was.)Our neighbor wanted our land and this is how he went about stealing it with the aid of his attorney. His daughter worked for our former Congressman and was politically connected.

1. We submitted ample documents to the Board of Bar Overseers in our Complaint proving our case.

The letter had the Massachusetts State Seal from the Board of Professional Licensure stating that this man (the lawyer's buddy) had NO CREDENTIALS and was NEVER an Engineer or land surveyor registered in the State of Massachusetts.
2. The spray-painted mark was WRONG and to our DETRIMENT. We owned land way beyond the spray-painted mark toward our neighbor's house. (We had a REAL survey by a licensed land surveyor proving we were correct about the land.)The opposing attorney admitted our survey was correct in a letter to our attorney later on.
3. We cited our state's General Law that specifically EXCLUDES "civil engineers" from being allowed to determine property line. (An attorney should KNOW the law or LOOK IT UP before sending a letter to a citizen forbidding them to go on their OWN land. (Not that his buddy was a "civil engineer" anyway. He had NO credentials.) I am a CIVILIAN and I can LOOK UP THE LAW!
3. Police ordered us off our own property and threatened us with arrest because the son claimed in a police report that the spray-painted mark was the result of a "land survey." He had his father's attorney and his phony "engineer" to back him up. Police came to our home and intimidated us. (Sent by our neighbor's son)
4. We had to pay for a survey and lawyer. We already had a plot plan etc. Meanwhile our neighbor's son was terrorizing us while on duty in his mail truck off his route.
We presented documents to the Board of Bar Overseers regarding the false information the attorney sent us depriving us of our land. The Board did nothing.

Then we sued the "buddy" in small claims court for misrepresenting a "civil engineer" and/or falsely representing someone authorized to "determine the property line."
Guess what? The same lawyer represented him (our state rep.) The lawyer told the magistrate that his "buddy" was indeed a "civil engineer." The magistrate said that was good enough for her because in her opinion, the lawyer was a "well-respected attorney." She ignored our letter with the state seal stating his buddy had NO CREDENTIALS and was NOT an engineer or land surveyor ever in our state.
By the way, an article in our local newspaper stated that a magistrate at this court formerly worked in this attorney's law office. What a coincidence. The lawyer is our state representative as well. Shortly after we filed a small claims suit against the lawyer's buddy, the lawyer responded by serving us with a lawsuit in Superior Court on behalf of the neighbor's son claiming he had lost his job because of us. The son had been terrorizing us by driving by in his mail truck while on duty giving us the middle finger. This was not his mail route.

The lawyer claimed our neighbor's son "lost benefit of employment" because of us. The son never lost his job. We knew it. But again, the lawyer got away with filing false statements in court documents. His client had answered in deposition in July 2007 that "he never lost benefit of employment" as claimed in court documents filed in April 2006. Our neighbor and his lawyer requested mutual dismissal over 5 times, which we rejected. We wanted our the case to be heard, naively thinking we would get justice. Days after the son's admission in deposition, his attorney (the state rep.) submitted pretrial documents still claiming his client had "lost benefit of his employment" knowing full well his client had recently stated under oath that he never lost benefit of his employment. I have the court document. The lawyer certainly didn't do due diligence before filing the original lawsuit and he knowingly continued with a false claim when submitting the pretrial documents to the court. On the day of the trial, the judge got him out of the whole mess. Big surprise. Oh and by the way. At one point, (our lawyer never told us or sent us anything), the opposing attorney had a letter sent to our attorney ordering us to appear on a certain day stating that our trial was to be a "jury waived." That is despite the fact that the opposing attorney specifically had asked for a "JURY TRIAL" in original court documents! One might surmise he had a judge in mind that would be open to ruling in his client's favor. Just a thought! That letter came from the Superior Clerk's Office.

Lying, perjury, and phony documents prevailed. No one was punished. The lawyer will go on to do more sleazy things in my opinion. Who will stop him?

The Board is a joke. Lawyers can do whatever they want and get away with it. I have more to say about the documents that are missing at the court, the missing documents in my "file" from my attorney etc. It never ends.

Then the idiot lawyer we hired, let the deadline for discovery expire. He gave additional time which I objected to because almost 4 months had passed without getting the answers to our interrogatories.The opposing lawyer never even sent us any interrogatories. (It was a harassment suit.) Our lawyer insisted to me, that's what lawyers do. They extend "professional courtesy." He insisted the judge would give another 30 days anyway. So we got back the answers a few days before mandatory mediation. We showed up with our lawyer as was ordered by the mediator in the letter. Our neighbors never showed. Only their lawyer showed up asking for mutual dismissal. Yet they sued us! I was never going to do mutual dismissal because of the principle. We had done nothing wrong. Our neighbors stole our land and their son was terrorizing us continually. Then we wanted the neighbor deposed to answer more questions. The opposing lawyer claimed discovery time was over and fought depositions. Yes Discovery period was over because our neighbors and their attorney had delayed in answering interrogatories and our idiot lawyer allowed it to happen! Then our lawyer made a "deal" without us knowing. The elder plaintiffs couldn't attend due to blindness and bleeding on the brain. Yet both had voted in an election and the elder man still had a car registered in his name and he was driving it. To me, our lawyer committed malpractice. At the son's deposition, he told us that his parent's would be in CONTEMPT of court, so we felt assured we would win against them and receive our attorney's fees for their frivolous claims. Nope. Our attorney let them get out of their depositions! But we didn't know it until many months later, just before our trial when I asked our attorney if he had filed contempt charges! There isn't a thing we can do about that either. 10,000 dollars down the drain. We continued on because we thought we would get justice. There is no justice in the corrupt system with lying lawyers who break all the rules. They do whatever they want and laugh knowing nothing will happen to them no matter what they do. The ethics rules are a big fat joke!

Posted by: Bonnie | Apr 26, 2008 9:37:36 PM

The proceeding of the case as shown at NOBC has many implications. First the review was written by Mr.Bjorklund himself. It makes it more complicated. So I think This case should be handled according to law.
Addiction Recovery Iowa

Posted by: xs5 | Jul 14, 2008 11:00:06 PM

The ethics rules only protect the big firm lawyers. Did you know Bjorklund's phone number was the same as the public defenders office, save the last two numbers. Does that mean he worked for them, too? The logic of the disciplinary board is laughable. The entire report and opinion is one-sided. Did you know the board did not allow Bjorklund to get discovery or present a case, and the Iowa Supreme Court did not allow him to submit a brief to defned his case? This is a clear example of the "good-old-boy" system of justice. Bjorklund was getting too many people off of drunk driving charges and taking business away from the big firms, so they imposed their own brand of "justice." If you know anything about this case, rather than offering opinions like a Monday morning quarterback, like most people on this site, then you would know Bjorklund was railroaded. His whole life was devoted to protecting the public, and when he tried his best and succeeded, the powers that be punished him. Before you offer an opinion, know the facts.

Posted by: Gail Foley | Feb 23, 2009 5:23:36 PM

The case brought against Bjorklund is wrought with holes. People WERE either intimidated by the ethic's board, or bribed, the whole case smells like a bunch of dead rats. I will say this though: I am currently working on a trilogy about Raymond Tinnian. The trilogy will thoroughly explore the Bjorklund case and shed some serious light on what this is really all about. The "ethics" displayed by David Grace, Charles Harrington, as well as former Iowa Supreme Court Justice Louis Lavorato can only be described as pathetic.

Posted by: Thomas Harbit | Mar 10, 2013 7:39:47 PM

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