Court suspends license of Cedar Rapids attorney for ethical violations

Attorney violated rules regarding client trust account records

Trish Mehaffey
Published: March 28 2014 | 1:00 pm - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 10:16 am in

The Iowa Supreme Court suspends license of a Cedar Rapids attorney Friday for three months because he violated rules regarding client trust account records and provided false information about the account to auditors.

According to the ruling, Ronald Ricklefs, 61, improperly handled his trust account, combined client funds with her personal funds and failed to maintain proper records. He also mislead the Client Security Commission during a 2012 audit, claiming he kept the client funds in a separate account, performed monthly reconciliations with bank statements and clients ledgers and kept the client fund records for six years.

Ricklefs intentionally misled the commission and later admitted he didn’t keep a check register for his trust account and that he regularly combined personal funds with clients’ funds, according to the ruling.

According to ethical rules, attorneys must keep client trust funds in a separate account and must maintain a check register and client ledger and reconcile the account each month.

The court stated Ricklefs’ actions were “more worrisome” because four years earlier the same problems were uncovered in a 2008 audit and they were never corrected, according to the ruling.

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