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Committee on Professional Ethics and Conduct of the Iowa State Bar v. Hill

436 N.W.2d 57 (1989)

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Committee on Professional Ethics and Conduct of the Iowa State Bar v. Hill

Iowa Supreme Court

436 N.W.2d 57 (1989)

Facts

In 1986, William Hill (defendant) was retained by KC to represent her in a dissolution-of-marriage proceeding. KC also sought to obtain temporary custody of her three children. At the time KC retained Hill, she was unemployed, drug dependent, and emotionally unstable. Because she had no money, KC offered to have sexual intercourse with Hill in exchange for his legal representation. Hill told KC that he would give her a personal loan and that she did not need to have sex with him. After KC informed Hill that she would be unlikely to ever pay him back, Hill and KC had sexual intercourse. Hill also gave KC $50. KC later dismissed the divorce action and reconciled her marriage. Following the sexual encounter, the Committee on Professional Ethics and Conduct of the Iowa Bar Association (plaintiff) filed a complaint against Hill on the ground that he had violated multiple disciplinary rules and ethical considerations. The state’s grievance commission held a hearing on the matter. The commission recommended to the Iowa Supreme Court that Hill’s license be suspended for three months upon a finding that he violated the state’s disciplinary rules and ethical considerations by (1) engaging in conduct that is illegal, involves moral turpitude, and reflects poorly on his fitness to practice law; (2) failing to conduct himself according to professional standards; and (3) conducting himself in a way that leads to a lack of confidence, respect, and trust. Hill argued that the proceedings violated his right to privacy and the sexual intercourse was solely a romantic counter that did not involve money. The Iowa Supreme Court reviewed the matter.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Andreasen, J.)

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