Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board v. Sandra Esther Suarez-Quilty

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF IOWA No. 17–1555 Filed May 18, 2018 IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD, Complainant, vs. SANDRA ESTHER SUAREZ-QUILTY, Respondent. On appeal from the report of the Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission. An attorney appeals a report of the grievance commission recommending we revoke her license to practice law in this state. LICENSE REVOKED. Elizabeth E. Quinlan, Des Moines, for complainant. David L. Brown of Hanson, McClintock & Riley, Des Moines, for respondent. 2 ZAGER, Justice. The Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board (Board) brought a complaint against an attorney that alleged multiple violations of the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct, including the misappropriation of funds in her representation of two clients. The Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission (commission) found numerous violations of our ethical rules and recommended a revocation of her license to practice law in this state. After our de novo review of the record, we agree with the recommendation of the commission and revoke the attorney’s license to practice law in the State of Iowa. I. Background Facts and Proceedings. Attorney Sandra Suarez-Quilty has been licensed to practice law in the State of Iowa since 2000. During the period of the conduct giving rise to this disciplinary action, Suarez-Quilty was a solo practitioner in Des Moines, Iowa, where she provided legal services primarily in the areas of immigration law, family law, and criminal law. Suarez-Quilty stipulated to all facts contained in the Board’s final complaint, which are described as follows. A. McElroy Matter. Suarez-Quilty represented Darlena McElroy in a guardianship case involving McElroy’s elderly father, Percy McElroy (Percy). After McElroy was enjoined from acting on Percy’s behalf, Suarez-Quilty and McElroy met with Percy on January 29, 2013, without the knowledge or consent of his attorney, Jessica Chandler, or his guardian ad litem, Sarah Dewein. While she was meeting with Percy, Suarez-Quilty left Chandler a voicemail proclaiming, “I am sitting with your client . . . and we have some things we would like to discuss with you.” Chandler returned the call immediately to ask why Suarez-Quilty 3 was meeting with Percy, to which Suarez-Quilty responded, “I represent him now.” In a second phone call that day, Suarez-Quilty informed Chandler that McElroy was going to remove Percy from his location. Dewein and a social worker immediately responded to Percy’s location to find Suarez- Quilty there with Percy. When Dewein confronted Suarez-Quilty with a copy of the injunction enjoining McElroy from acting as Percy’s guardian, Suarez-Quilty continued to insist that McElroy would act as Percy’s guardian. Despite these facts, at a hearing in this case conducted on February 8, Suarez-Quilty told the judge, “I did not visit with Mr. McElroy [on January 29] with regard to anything as it relates to this specific matter.” B. Unauthorized Practice of Law. Suarez-Quilty was convicted of operating while under the influence of alcohol (OWI), second offense on February 11, 2013. Her license to practice law in Iowa was subsequently suspended due to disability from February 15 until June ...

Original document
Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals