Friday, November 9, 2018
In the preceding post, we reported that the Iowa Supreme Court suspended an attorney for the premature taking of a probate fee to which he had a colorable cliaim.
In an unrelated case, the court revoked the license of an attorney who took fees without such a claim and engaged in other misconduct
Moran collected flat fees from both CDL Consultants and from Tharp. There is no evidence that he deposited the funds into a client trust account. Moran subsequently performed little to no work on many of the cases. He ceased communicating with his clients, resulting in missed court appearances. His clients suffered harm as a result, including loss of their commercial driver’s licenses and employment...
Moran converted client funds for his own personal use. His behavior is antithetical to the standards of ethics and professionalism we demand from Iowa attorneys, and we agree with the commission and Board that revocation is the appropriate sanction.
The CDL representation
CDL Consultants provides safety and compliance services to motor carriers and professional drivers nationwide. As part of its services, CDL Consultants hires attorneys to represent its customers who have received traffic citations that may affect their commercial driver’s licenses. The goal of the legal representation is to resolve the citations in a manner avoiding loss of driving privileges and employment. CDL Consultants hired Moran to represent its customers who received traffic citations in Iowa.
He performed badly (or not at all)
Complaints against Moran were made by thirty-four professional drivers in thirty-five cases (one driver had two separate cases). Moran pocketed fees totaling $6900 from CDL Consultants to represent these clients. In four cases, Moran failed to enter an appearance or take any action. In nine cases, Moran entered an appearance and plea of not guilty, but then failed to perform further work or notify the clients of court dates, leading to their convictions when no one appeared for trial. In twenty-two cases, Moran entered guilty pleas without the client’s consent.
The Tharp matter involved a child custody claim. (Mike Frisch)