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Legal Ethics

Court Calls Lawyer’s Conduct a ‘Textbook Example of How Not to Operate a Law Office’

Posted May 17, 2011 7:28 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The Iowa Supreme Court has suspended a Dubuque lawyer accused of incompetent representation, client neglect and failure to maintain client trust accounts.

Lawyer John Edward Netti Jr. will be suspended for two years before he can apply for reinstatement, according to the Telegraph Herald and the Iowa Independent. “Netti’s handling of his client’s property is a textbook example of how not to operate a law office,” the court opinion said.

Netti has a brain tumor causing some short-term memory loss, a mitigating factor in the ethics case, the court said. The decision cited several aggravating factors. “We cannot overlook the serious, egregious, and persistent nature of Netti's misconduct and the effect it had on his victims,” the opinion said. “This was not one isolated incident. Netti displayed a pattern of taking fees without doing the work he was hired to do.”

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