Double Trouble: Attorney Reprimanded After Client Billed for Attorney’s Sanctions

An attorney was recently reprimanded by the Iowa Supreme Court Disciplinary Board for his failure to appropriately handle and inform his client about a discovery dispute and perhaps, most notably, for billing his client for the cost of the attorney’s sanctions that were ordered by the court.  To read more about the incident click here.

The Iowa Opinion finds that the attorney violated Iowa Rule 1.4, communication with the client, by failing to arrange for the client’s complete answers to discovery and failing to disclose to the client the full nature of the discovery dispute. The opinion also finds that there was a violation of Iowa Rule 1.5 for charging the client unreasonable fees or expenses. The opinion also notes that the attorney violated Iowa Rule 3.4(d) by failing to make a reasonable effort to comply with opposing party’s discovery requests, as well as prejudicing the administration of justice, Rule 8.4(d), “by causing the court to waste valuable time in addressing the discovery issues.”

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