|Attorney Disciplinary Board and Grievance Commission annual report filed|
The Iowa Supreme Court filed its 2015 Attorney Disciplinary Board and Grievance Commission annual report earlier this month. The report includes minutes, budget information, complaint determinations, grievance case summaries and much more.
According to the report, the Attorney Disciplinary Board opened 389 new complaint files in 2015, up from 337 in 2014 and 366 in 2013. The assistant directors declined to open investigations in 199 complaints. Of the 316 determinations that the board made, 189 were dismissed upon a finding of no ethical violation, 47 resulted in private admonitions, 41 were referred to staff counsel for filing with the Grievance Commission, 35 resulted in public reprimand, two were deferred per Iowa Court Rule 34.13, and two files resulted in other determinations.
The report identified prisoners or criminal defendants as the most frequent source of complaints (30.4 percent) followed by clients other than prisoner, criminal or family law (13 percent); judges or attorneys (11.7 percent); family law clients (9.8 percent); and beneficiaries or others involved in probate (6.6 percent). The three most common ethical violations were neglect or incompetence (59.5 percent) followed by misrepresentation or fraud (13.4 percent) and money or trust account issues (12.7 percent).
The Grievance Commission began 2015 with 22 cases pending from 2014 then added 15 additional cases from the Attorney Disciplinary Board during the year. Of those cases, 19 received final dispositions during 2015 and 18 were pending as of Dec. 30, 2015. The final dispositions resulted in revocation of license (1), suspensions of varying lengths (14), dismissal (1), private admonition (1) or written reprimands (2).