Kowalke has law license revoked
Wed, 09/26/2018 - 5:26pm admin
Cresco - The Supreme Court of Iowa voted to revoke Todd W. Kowalke’s, attorney from Cresco, Iowa, license to practice law for violations of ethical rules. Kowalke represented himself, while Tara van Brederode represented the Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission. The action was decided on Sept. 14, 2018.
According to court documents, Chief Justice Mark Cady reported, “The Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board charged attorney Todd Kowalke with violating the rules of professional conduct during his representation of the executors of an estate. The Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission found Kowalke violated several rules of professional conduct and recommended revocation of his license to practice law. Upon our de novo review, we find Kowalke converted client funds for his personal use, and we revoke his license to practice law in the State of Iowa.”
Kowalke agreed to serve as the attorney for the co-executors of the estate of Violet B. Brokken in 2009.
Court documents accused him of neglecting essential duties and responsibilities as attorney. Reports and income tax returns were not completed. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, the district court ordered him to complete the tasks necessary to close the estate. He failed to meet his projected deadline each time.
In 2011, Kowalke withdrew $3,692.18 from the trust account for attorney fees, which were not authorized by the district court.
In 2015, he withdrew $2,500 into his firm account, again without court authorization.
In January 2016, the attorney withdrew $10,000 for personal use. He also took out approximately $23,000 of estate funds to cover expenses relating to other client matters.
Documents state, “In March 2017, Kowalke filed another interlocutory report. The report indicated additional work needed to be performed before the estate could be closed. Frustrated, the district court threatened to remove Kowalke as the representative for the co-executors. It also ordered Kowalke to close the estate by July 31, 2017. Kowalke failed to comply with this order.”
Around August 2017, the district court removed Kowalke as the attorney for the co-executors and replaced him with attorney Robert Story.
“In October 2017, attorney Story filed an application with the district court for Kowalke to deliver the $35,407.06 in estate funds that should have been in the trust account. The district court ordered Kowalke to produce an accounting and restore the funds. Kowalke failed to comply with this order.”
Kowalke did tell the courts, “I don’t have the money. I’m sorry. I mean, that’s the bottom line. I have been working with the Grievance Commission. I have been tapping every resource I can. And as soon as I can, I will restore that money. But at this point, I do not have the money to restore is the bottom line on this thing.”
Kowalke was admitted to the Iowa bar in 1994 and is also a certified public accountant.