Public Safety

Iowa City lawyer's license suspended for failure to disclose conflicts

Iowa Supreme Court sides with grievance commission about Mark T. Hamer discipline

IOWA CITY — The Iowa Supreme Court last month suspended for six months the law license of Iowa City lawyer Mark T. Hamer over ethical violations.

The Supreme Court agreed with the court’s grievance commission Hamer should serve a six-month suspension for several violations relating to loan transactions between Hamer, Doug Paul, one of Hamer’s clients, and other Hamer clients.

Hamer did not adequately disclose conflicts of interest between clients before processing loans and “engaged in deceit” by collecting a $110,000 bonus payment from Paul without his client’s approval, the court noted in its 42-page opinion released June 29.

Hamer helped Paul sell Buckle Down Publishing in 2004 for $23 million, the opinion states. In the years following, Hamer and Paul engaged in “private banking,” which involved Paul loaned money directly to people and businesses. Hamer suggested Paul loan money to several people who were Hamer’s clients, but Hamer did not acknowledge the relationships or that he had a conflict representing both parties, the opinion states.

The Supreme Court also found Hamer was deceitful in charging Paul for an $110,000 bonus after the sale of Buckle Down, but then not giving Paul an itemized receipt disclosing the bonus.

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