January 6, 2012
The Iowa Supreme Court imposed a 60-day suspension of an attorney who had served as part-time county attorney in Lee County for nearly thirty years.
The attorney was permitted to have a part-time practice. The misconduct involved his forging the signature of a witness to a will. According to the court, "[a] vigilant employee in the clerk of the court's office doubted the authenticity of the purported signature of [the] witness..." The witness denied signing and the attorney admitted the forgery.
The court rejected the sanction of public reprimand proposed by the Grievance Commission, notwithstanding its "respectful consideration" of the recommendation. The court concluded that suspension was required to deter such misconduct. (Mike Frisch)
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