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Legal Ethics

Iowa Lawyer Suspended for Courthouse and Office Sex with Client Who Was Briefly His Wife

Posted Feb 16, 2011 9:12 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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An Iowa lawyer has been suspended for 18 months for having sex with a client who later entered into a short-lived marriage with him.

Clovis Bowles of Waterloo had represented the client in a custody battle, according to the National Law Journal and the Legal Profession Blog. The Iowa Supreme Court summarized the factual findings in a Feb. 11 opinion (PDF).

Bowles started the sexual relationship with the client a few days after her release from a mental health facility, the opinion says. He asked if he could kiss her, and they had sex in his office. She filed a bar complaint when the relationship broke down, and Bowles denied the relationship.

But the sex resumed, and the client married Bowles, believing it would improve her chances in her custody battle, according to the opinion. Six weeks later the marriage ended, but it wasn’t the end of the sexual relationship. A few months later, the client had sex with Bowles at the library in the Black Hawk County Courthouse because she hoped it would induce him to represent her in a contempt hearing.

A grievance commission had sought a three-year suspension.

Previous coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Lawyer: I Had Sex with Client at Her Home and in My Office, But Not in Courthouse Law Library"

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