Monday, May 14, 2007

Form Over Substance

The Iowa Supreme Court denied compensation in excess of the $1000 statuatory maximum to an attorney who was appointed as guardian ad litem to a juvenile in a child-in-need of assistance proceeding. The attorney's claim for excess compensation was filed untimely and denied on that basis by the public defender. The juvenile court ordered the public defender to pay over $2000 on a theory of quantum meruit. The public defender then petitioned for review. The Supreme Court disagreed with the juvenile court, although it expressed appreciation for the lawyer's services and had no doubt that a timely petition for excess payment would have been granted. (Mike Frisch)

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