On October 4, 2023, the Supreme Court of Minnesota rejected the petition for reinstatement of Attorney Adam W. Klotz, whose law license was suspended in 2018 for misappropriating client funds, dishonesty, creating a false document, and neglecting and lying to clients.
The case was titled ‘In Re: Adam W. Klotz,’ case number A22-0523.
Klotz’s 2018 suspension stemmed from a series of ethical violations including misappropriation of client funds, dishonesty in dealings with the Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, the creation of a false and misleading document, and neglecting and lying to clients.
In February 2020, Klotz submitted a reinstatement petition, which prompted an investigation by the Director. Upon receiving a draft report summarizing the investigation’s findings from the Director, Klotz decided to withdraw his petition on September 30, 2020.
He filed his current reinstatement petition in April 2022. The panel conducted a two-day hearing and found that Klotz failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he had undergone the requisite moral change for reinstatement. The panel also concluded that the public would be at risk if Klotz were to be readmitted to the practice of law. Klotz ordered a hearing transcript and asked the court to reinstate him to the practice of law in Minnesota.
The Supreme Court conducted an independent review of the entire record and upheld the panel’s findings, as they were supported by the record and not clearly erroneous. The court found that Klotz failed to demonstrate the requisite moral change, as he did not express the necessary remorse and acceptance of responsibility for his misconduct. The court also noted that Klotz’s inconsistent statements and minimization of his conduct at the hearing countered any expressions of remorse and acceptance of responsibility.
The Supreme Court considered four factors when considering reinstatement: the attorney’s recognition that the conduct was wrong, the length of time since the misconduct and suspension, the seriousness of the misconduct, and any physical or mental pressures susceptible to correction. The court noted that showing a moral change is the most important factor in determining whether to reinstate an attorney. The court also found that evidence of moral change must come from an observed record of appropriate conduct and the attorney’s own state of mind and values.
The filing states:
“Based on our independent review of the record, the panel’s conclusion that the petitioner has not undergone the requisite moral change was not clearly erroneous. Petition denied.”
Mr. Adam W. Klotz’s professional profile indicates that he practiced as a criminal defense attorney in Minneapolis, Minnesota prior to the suspension. He acquired his license in Minnesota in 2010.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.