Des Moines attorney disbarred in Missouri after license revoked in Iowa

By Karen Kidd | Apr 19, 2019

JEFFERSON CITY – Des Moines, Iowa attorney Sandra E. Suarez has been disbarred following an April 17 Missouri Supreme Court order after her license was revoked in Iowa over allegations that included misappropriation and trust account issues.

The Missouri Supreme Court's decision followed an investigation by the office of chief disciplinary counsel and its own findings that Suarez's alleged violations in Iowa also violated professional conduct rules in Missouri, according to the court's order.

The Missouri court also ordered Suarez to pay costs in the matter.

The Missouri Supreme Court's decision follows disciplinary proceedings against Suarez last year in Iowa, according to that state's attorney disciplinary board and grievance commission annual report for 2018. The Iowa Supreme Court's Attorney Disciplinary Board alleged more than 30 ethical rules violations.

Those alleged violations included misappropriation, making false statements, engaging in communication with an unrepresented party, unauthorized practice of law and multiple trust account violations. 

"In her amended answer, the attorney admitted to all of the allegations, and the parties stipulated to everything except sanctions," the annual report said.

Suarez, listed as Sandra Esther Suarez-Quilty in Iowa legal documents, has admitted to problems with drinking. Those problems apparently led to multiple drunken driving convictions and prison time in Iowa but she apparently made considerable effort to hold onto her law license in that state.

Suarez requested a 90-day suspension but the grievance commission in Iowa recommended her license be revoked, which acts as disbarment in Iowa, based on the allegations of misappropriation of client funds and conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.

Suarez appealed the commission's decision but in May the Iowa Supreme Court revoked her license. Suarez may apply for reinstatement in Iowa after five years, according to the Iowa Supreme Court's ruling.

In October, Suarez also was disbarred from the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals, which had indefinitely suspended her the previous June.

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Iowa Supreme Court Missouri Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel Missouri Supreme Court

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