October 19, 2012
The Iowa Supreme Court has imposed a 30-day suspension of an attorney as a result of a series of criminal convictions.
The matters involved driving both a boat and a motor vehicle while impaired (two separate incidents) and possession of cocaine.
The boat incident involved a stop by a water patrol officer who observed the attorney accelerating in a five mile per hour speed-limit zone.
The attorney had previously made bar discipline headlines in a case where he was sanctioned for plagiarism in a brief in a bankruptcy case.
From the earlier case:
We recognize that the term “plagiarism” is something of a scarlet letter that imposes a brand on a wide variety of behaviors. We do not believe our ethical rules were designed to empower the court to play a “gotcha” game with lawyers who merely fail to use adequate citation methods. This case, however, does not involve a mere instance of less than perfect citation, but rather wholesale copying of seventeen pages of material. Such massive, nearly verbatim copying of a published writing without attribution in the main brief, in our view, does amount to a misrepresentation that violates our ethical rules. We note that before this court, [the attorney] has candidly admitted that his activity represented dishonesty and not negligence or incompetence.
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