Iowans may suffer loss of money, property, or liberty as a result of the practice of law by persons who are not authorized to do so. To help prevent these losses and protect Iowa citizens, the Commission on the Unauthorized Practice of Law was established by the Supreme Court of Iowa. The Commission is charged with considering, investigating, and seeking the prohibition of the unauthorized practice of law.
Common circumstances that may involve the unauthorized practice of law include:
Nonlawyers performing legal services in Iowa
Nonlawyers holding out to the public that they are qualified to provide legal services
Licensed Iowa attorneys performing legal services in Iowa while their licenses are inactive, suspended, or revoked
Lawyers from other states performing legal services in Iowa matters without authority to do so
Commission Meetings and Members
The Commission meets quarterly to monitor and address UPL allegations. The Commission is composed of seven lawyer members and two non-lawyer members. All members are appointed by the Iowa Supreme Court for a term of three years except when appointed to fill an unexpired term. No member may serve more than three complete terms.
Robert Livingston, Council Bluffs, chair
Ian Russell, Davenport
Jasmina Sarajlija, Des Moines
Elizabeth Van Arkel, Des Moines
William Brauch, Des Moines
Shawn Smith, Ames
Jim Kringlen, Iowa City
Adam Stark, Muscatine
Robin Norris, Altoona
Reporting the Unauthorized Practice of Law
For a more detailed overview of what may constitute the unauthorized practice of law and to file a complaint and to get the form, visit the Complaints page.
Commission on the Unauthorized Practice of Law
Judicial Branch Building
1111 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50319