May 27, 2011
All In The Family
The Iowa Supreme Court has imposed a suspension of no less than 18 months in a matter involving misconduct in connection with the representation of his wife as the guardian and conservator of a longtime friend. The court rejected the recommendation of its Grievance Commission for a public reprimand.
The attorney was admitted in 1964. He has a good professional reputation and no prior discipline.
He had served as a county attorney and came to know the county auditor, who became a family friend. The attorney's wife became the friend's guardian. The misconduct involved "self-dealing, gifting, transferring property, and accounting for assets." The attorney engaged in what the court called serious misconduct that involved conflicts of interest and deceit in failing to disclose the ward's assets in court filings.
The attorney also represented the buyer and seller in connection with the sale of estate property. He claimed to have been unaware of this, contending that his son (and law partner) had handled the transaction without his knowledge. (Mike Frisch)
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