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Dubuque attorney handed two-year suspension for conduct violations
The Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board has found an eastern Iowa attorney guilty of committing multiple ethical infractions and has suspended his law license for a period of two years, with no possibility for reinstatement during the period of suspension.
Justices on the state’s high court were required to review the report of the grievance commission de novo (or from the beginning) because neither party involved in the case appealed the original decision.
John Edward Netti, Jr., originally from Kentucky, received a license to practice law in Iowa in 2001, although the license was not initially used and remained inactive until 2006. Two years later, in October 2008, an order was issued to suspend the license for failure to pay annual fees and/or file reports, and the license has remained under suspension.
Complaints were issued against Netti by four separate clients, and most of the complaints centered around monies collected by Netti for legal services. In one case, for instance, Netti took advance payment from a client, but either could not or did not provide state grievance officials a proper accounting of those funds. In another, Netti collected his fee from a settlement prior to filing an affidavit with the state and before the probate court had issued an order allowing compensation collection.
Before the license can be reinstated, Netti must return fees to a client, satisfy the judgment in another case and prove his “fitness to practice law.” According to the court documents, Netti has short-term memory loss due to treatments he had undergone for a brain tumor. Had it not been for the mitigating medical circumstance, it is possible that Netti’s license could have been fully revoked.
“Netti’s handling of his client’s property is a textbook example of how not to operate a law office,” read the decision issued Friday.
Netti specialized in criminal law, personal injury and domestic law, and had an office in Dubuque.
The full review is embedded below: