Trials & Litigation

Ex-client can bring her new lawyer to legal ethics hearing for her old lawyer, top state court says


A woman who accused an Iowa lawyer of sexual misconduct while he was representing her and her husband has a limited right to legal representation at a legal ethics hearing for her former counsel, the state’s top court has ruled.

Although legal discipline proceedings are confidential, “We conclude a person called upon to be a witness before our grievance commission may be represented by counsel for the limited purpose of protecting rights personal to the witness in the proceeding,” the Iowa Supreme Court held. Its ruling reversed a decision by the commission’s president barring attorney Roxanne Conlin of Des Moines from attending the hearing. Conlin is also representing the female complainant n a Black Hawk County District Court civil suit against her former lawyer.

The Legal Profession Blog provides a copy of the Friday opinion (PDF) in the case.

The opinion does not identify the attorney respondent in the legal disciplinary case. However, the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier says the allegations and procedural history of the legal ethics case correspond with a suit filed against Cedar Falls lawyer Gary N. Jones by Conlin.

The article doesn’t include any comment from Jones, but notes that he has denied the suit’s allegations.

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