|Oskaloosa Lawyer Suspended|
|Friday, 11 January 2013 14:30|
The Iowa Supreme Court Disciplinary Board has suspended the license of Oskaloosa attorney Eric Palmer for 30 days.
The Iowa Supreme Court Disciplinary Board ruled Friday that Palmer violated the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct by forging the signature of a client on documentation.
Court documents state that Palmer directed his secretary to sign the name of Linette Paulos, Palmer's client who was seeking a personal injury settlement. Paulos claims taking Paxil while pregnant with her child led to the child's unspecified birth defects. Palmer eventually tried to withdraw as counsel after the clients had not paid for his services. During the withdrawal hearing, Paulos alerted the court that not all the signatures were hers. Palmer confirmed that the signatures were his secretary's but that he had Paulos' permission to sign documents on her behalf.
According to court documents, Paulos said she did not remember giving Palmer the authority to sign for her, but that her memory has been compromised by a traumatic brain injury. The board ruled that it cannot prove Palmer didn't have Paulos' permission to sign documents, but his actions still violated the rules.
False notarizations by attorneys have often led to lengthy suspensions, but the board ruled that since Palmer's violations were not extensive, a 30-day suspension from all facets of the practice of law was sufficient.
Palmer said the ruling "speaks for itself," but he did add that he'll be having some other lawyers assist him during his suspension and he'll "be following all the rules set by the Iowa Supreme Court."
Palmer also served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 2007-2010.