October 29, 2010
The More Appropriate Sanction
The Iowa Supreme Court has rejected a three-year suspension proposed by its Attorney Disciplinary Board and Grievance Commission and revoked the license of an attorney admitted in 1990. The disciplinary complaint alleged nine counts of ethics violations.
The attorney had represented a client who was subject to an involuntary guardianship and conservatorship. A criminal charge was filed against the client's daughter alleging neglect of the client. The attorney represented the daughter and was disqualified for a concurrent conflict of interest. The attorney was later found in contempt for her contacts with the daughter after the disqualification order was entered.
The court found that a stipulation that the attorney made "unduly critical allegations" about a probate matter did not establish an ethical violation without a further stipulation that her claims were false. The stipulation was sufficent to establish misappropriation and neglect of a client matter.
The court found that the violations established by the stipulation made revocation the "more appropriate" sanction. (Mike Frisch)
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