Monday, April 30, 2012
The Iowa Supreme Court has suspended an attorney without possibility of reinstatement for one year.
The attorney had previously been suspended for three months. He had "burned out" of law practice and neglected two matters while transitioning to a teaching career. He was reinstated in 2008.
Here, he forged a guilty plea document on behalf of a client charged with second offense operating while intoxicated. As a result, the client got a seven-day jail sentence.
The attorney did not file formal pleadings in the bar matter. Rather, he sent a letter and an email:
[The attorney] attempted to skirt the formal adversary process by defending himself throgh two self-termed "informal note[s]" He presented no sworn evidence on his behalf, nor was he subject to cross-examination...We similarly expect attorneys to defend themselves within the formal adjudicatory procedures provided in our court rules. Accordingly, we do not give any weight to [his] letter or email denying certain Board alllegations.
The charges were thus established by default. (Mike Frisch)