We must review the Grievance Commission's report recommending suspension of D. Keith Borchart's license to practice law. See Iowa Sup.Ct.R. 118.10. The commission found that Borchart knowingly and willingly failed to file his state income tax returns. It also found that he falsely stated in client-security questionnaires he filed those returns. See Iowa Sup.Ct.R. 121.4(b).
We temporarily suspended Borchart's license on January 9, 1986. Although the commission recommended a one-year suspension from that date, one member recommended a public reprimand or, at most, a three-month suspension. We agree with the commission's recommendation and now impose a suspension of one year from January 9, 1986.
Borchart admitted he knowingly and willingly failed to file five tax returns. He insisted these failures were due to a lack of
In 1981, Borchart falsely stated in his client-security questionnaire that he had filed his 1979 tax return. He knew his license would be suspended upon discovery, but decided to postpone the day of reckoning as long as possible: he answered falsely in 1982, 1983, and 1984.
Borchart filed federal income tax returns for each of the years involved. He even prepared corresponding state returns, but did not file them.
In 1985, Borchart pled guilty to failure to file his state returns. See Iowa Code §§ 422.25(5), 714.10(1) (1985). The district court deferred judgment, imposed probation for two years, and required Borchart to perform 250 hours of community service as well as contribute $1000 to the court fund.
The commission correctly concluded that Borchart's failure to file the returns violated Iowa Code of Professional Responsibility for Lawyers DR 1-102(A)(5) (engaging in conduct prejudicial to administration of justice) and (6) (engaging in conduct adversely reflecting on fitness to practice). It also correctly concluded that filing false answers to the questionnaires violated DR 1-102(A)(4) (engaging in conduct involving dishonesty). Having determined ethical violations occurred, we must now decide what sanction is justified under the circumstances.
Committee on Professional Ethics and Conduct v. Rogers, 313 N.W.2d 535, 537 (Iowa 1981) (citations omitted). Sanctions are tailored to the facts of each case. Committee on Professional Ethics and Conduct v. Christoffers, 348 N.W.2d 227, 230 (Iowa 1984).
In addition, our order temporarily suspending Borchart noted his cooperation with the commission and this court:
Borchart made good on his promise to cooperate, and the matter quickly proceeded to this court.
The circumstances mentioned by the commission, together with Borchart's cooperation, bear directly on his fitness to practice law. See Committee on Professional Ethics and Conduct v. Ulstad, 376 N.W.2d 612, 615 (Iowa 1985).
We suspend Borchart's license to practice law in this state for one year from January 9, 1986. Iowa Sup.Ct.R. 118.12. In applying for reinstatement, see Iowa Sup.Ct.R. 118.13, Borchart must establish he has refrained from all facets of the practice of law during the suspension and abstained from alcohol.
All Justices concur except SCHULTZ and NEUMAN, JJ., who take no part.