Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

January 11, 2013

Supreme Court suspends Osky lawyer, former legislator's license

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Des Moines — The Iowa Supreme Court has suspended the license of Oskaloosa attorney Eric Palmer, who also served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 2007-10. 

The Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Discipline Board alleged taht the Palmer forged the signature of a client on documents pertaining to a conservatorship and filed them with the court. In late 2009, Palmer was hired by Linette and Steve Paulos to establish a conservatorship for their minor child. The family lived in Wapello County and sought the appointment of a conservator for the purpose of settling a personal injury claim for the child, who was born with birth defects. 

Palmer directed his secretary to sign the name of Mrs. Paulos on three documents required to establish the conservatorship and approve a settlement of the ward's personal injury claim. Palmer notorized the signatures on the documents and filed them with the clerk of the district court. 

He filed a motion to withdraw as counsel for the conservators in 2011, claiming he had not been paid and that conservators had failed to communicate with him. The Pauloses appeared in court, and Mrs. Paulos denied the authenticity of some of the signatures in the conservatorship proceedings. 

"Palmer's violations were not limited to acts false notorization, but they are notably less extensive than those (in another case) and deserve a correspondingly less severe sanction," Justice Hecht wrote.  "We suspend Palmer's license to practice law in Iowa for 30 days. This suspension applies to all facets of the practice of law." 

The full opinion can be read at http://www.iowacourts.gov/Supreme_Court/Recent_Opinions/20130111/12-1529.pdf