On Friday, December 8, 2023, the Iowa Supreme Court suspended the law license of attorney David L. Leitner for violations of the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct committed while representing several clients.
The case is entitled “Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board v. David L. Leitner,” with case no. 23-0099.
The charges cited Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct 32:8.4(c), 32:3.3(a)(1), 32:8.4(c)(d), 32:8.4(d), 32:1.7(a), 32:1.9(a) and 32:8.4(c).
The order stems from a disciplinary complaint brought by the Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board against Leitner. According to the Board’s complaint, Leitner violated multiple ethics rules related to conflicts of interest, dishonest conduct, and false statements to the court during his time as an attorney for Marvin Mitchell, Brooks Barney, James Jamison Irrevocable Trust, and Lu-Jen Farms between 2013 and 2020.
Specifically, the Board alleged Leitner helped Mitchell conceal income and assets from creditors by establishing a business entity called Foodprairie, LLC in 2013 and using it to receive payments. Mitchell had previously been convicted of bankruptcy fraud. Leitner also represented Barney in a domestic dispute case starting in April 2020 where he secretly modified a stipulation agreement and later lied to the court.
In a separate case, Leitner drafted a contract in 2017 for his former client Jamison while representing them, but later in 2020, he represented Lu-Jen Farms against Jamison in a lawsuit regarding the same contract. The Board alleged this created a conflict of interest. Leitner also filed pleadings attacking the character of his former client.
Leitner did not respond to the Board’s complaint, so the Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission deemed the allegations admitted. Based on the admitted violations, the Commission recommended revoking Leitner’s license. However, the Iowa Supreme Court concluded an indefinite suspension with no possibility of reinstatement for two years was the appropriate sanction.
The order found Leitner violated multiple rules prohibiting dishonesty, false statements, conflicts of interest with former clients, and conduct prejudicing the administration of justice. Accordingly, the Supreme Court decided to suspend Leitner’s license indefinitely
The Disposition states:
“We hereby suspend Leitner’s license to practice law in Iowa indefinitely, with no possibility of reinstatement for two years. This suspension will commence ten days from the date of this opinion.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Leitner is an estate planning attorney in West Des Moines, Iowa. He attended the University of Iowa College of Law. He acquired his law license in Iowa in 1979.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.