February 15, 2013
Issue Preclusion In Bar Discipline
The Iowa Supreme Court has imposed a suspension of 60 days in a matter involving ethical violations committed by an attorney in his own divorce and an unrelated fee dispute.
In the divorce case, the district court found that the attorney engaged in extrinsic fraud by concealing two contingent-fee matters from his spouse. The finding was affirmed on appeal.
The court here found that issue preclusion prevented the attorney from contesting the extrinsic fraud finding. However, the court found that ethics rules governing advocacy did not apply to a represented attorney in his own divorce.
The other matter involved taking a fee while there was a dispute. (Mike Frisch)
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