The Iowa Supreme Court has suspended the license of a Cedar Rapids attorney based on ethical and professional violations including charging unreasonable fees, failing to deposit client funds into a trust account and making a false statement about his suspension.
The license of Kenneth Dolezal, 67, will be suspended for two years, according to Friday’s ruling. The court’s Grievance Commission recommended Dolezal’s license be revoked partly based on the fact that Dolezal’s license was suspended in 2009 and 2011 and he violated the sanction in 2011 by continuing to practice law.
According to the ruling, Dolezal continued to bill an estate for probate work at $150 per hour after his 30-day suspension in 2011, he didn’t deposit client funds into a trust because he said it was the client’s preference, and he also failed to turn over client files to a new attorney when ordered by the court and made false statements to the Social Security Administration about his previous suspension.
The court also found him in violation of practicing law without a license.
According to the ruling, the court considered mitigating circumstances of Dolezal’s mental state regarding discipline. Dolezal has undergone treatment for depression and suffered from posttraumatic stress syndrome stemming from his military service in Vietnam. Dolezal said during the disciplinary hearing that he didn’t feel capable of representing clients in his “current mental state.”
Based on his mental state, the court ordered that Dolezal must provide a statement from a licensed mental health provider that he is fit to practice law prior to any reinstatement.