February 17, 2012
Practice Pointer: An Error In Your Favor Must Be Remedied
The Iowa Supreme Court has imposed a suspension of six months in a matter where the attorney failed to return an "inadvertant overpayment of fees."
The attorney handled a marriage dissolution case. The client paid a $500 retainer. When the matter was concluded, the attorney sent a final invoice that failed to credit the $500 that had already been paid. The client and her spouse split the payment, each overpaying $250.They had not discovered the error. As a result, the attorney got $500 more than the amount to which he was entitled.
To make matters worse, he did not address the articulated concerns when the error in his favor was discovered. This inattention led to a small claims action and a bar complaint. (Mike Frisch)
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