On Friday, August 18, 2023, the Supreme Court of Iowa suspended attorney Alexandra Maria Nelissen for failing to diligently represent a client and missing crucial court deadlines.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Alexandra Maria Nelissen,” with case no. 23-1088.

Attorney Alexandra M. Nelissen voluntarily agreed to the suspension of her law license for a period of up to six months following allegations of professional misconduct. The Grievance Commission of the Iowa Supreme Court received an affidavit and consent from Nelissen, detailing her acknowledgment of the alleged violations and her willingness to face the consequences.

The affidavit presented by Nelissen outlined two distinct cases that raised concerns about her professional conduct. The first case, known as the Hennessy Matter, involved her representation of Jeramy Hennessy in a child custody dispute. Nelissen admitted to failing in her duty to diligently represent the client, missing crucial court deadlines, and displaying poor communication, ultimately causing harm to Hennessy’s case.

The affidavit and consent to the suspension states:

“The deadline to serve the opposing party with the petition and original notice was January 19, 2022. I had difficulty getting her served but did not file a motion to extend the time for service. I did not serve the opposing party before the deadline for service. On February 4, 2022, opposing counsel filed a pre-answer motion to dismiss based on my failure to timely serve the opposing party.”

The second case, known as the Briley Matter, involved allegations against Nelissen for filing false reports of abuse on behalf of her client, Breck Briley, in a custody modification case. Nelissen admitted to submitting a motion with fabricated statements, falsely claiming investigations had taken place. Nelissen’s affidavit also revealed a history of prior disciplinary actions against her, dating back to 2006. These past instances of professional misconduct were acknowledged as aggravating factors in her current situation.

The affidavit and consent to the suspension continues:

“These statements were false. Before filing that motion, I indicated to opposing counsel in an email sent at 3:07 p.m. that I “presumed” that the DHS report would indicate the allegations of abuse would be “unfounded.” Ultimately, no forensic investigation, DHS investigation, or therapeutic work concluded that some form of assault had occurred. Additionally, I did not correct the false statements of material fact to the court contained within my motion. Therefore, I made a false statement in the motion I filed on December 9, 2021.”

The Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board responded to Attorney Alexandra M. Nelissen’s consent to suspension for up to six months, citing multiple rule violations in her representation of clients. The Board emphasized Nelissen’s failure to serve original notices, improper handling of funds, and inadequate communication as significant violations.

Based on the abovementioned facts, the Supreme Court of Iowa decided to suspend attorney Nelissen from the practice of law.

The Disposition states:

“Upon full consideration of this matter, the court suspends Nelissen’s license to practice law in this state for a period of six months. The six-month suspension of Nelissen’s license to practice law begins ten days from the date of this order.”

According to avvo.com, Ms. Nelissen had been practicing at Advocate Law, PLLC. She attended Drake University Law School, graduating in 2001.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.