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Supreme Court Suspends Sioux City Attorney’s License | Crime and courts

DES MOINES — The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday suspended the license of a Sioux City attorney for three years for repeatedly failing to respond to his client.

The court said Brien O’Brien will have no opportunity for reinstatement during the three-year suspension.

The suspension stems from a 2019 child custody case in which O’Brien agreed to represent the father and accepted a retainer of $2,750. After filing a response in the case on behalf of the client, he never spoke with his client again or responded to messages. The client eventually had to hire another lawyer to represent him.

O’Brien has a history of disciplinary actions in Iowa and Nebraska.

The Nebraska Supreme Court disbarred him in 2002 for violating trust account rules and lying to disciplinary authorities during their investigation. The Iowa Supreme Court reciprocated this action by suspending O’Brien’s license for three years.

After a 2004 conviction for failing to file Iowa tax returns, O’Brien’s license was suspended for another six months. His license was temporarily suspended in 2021 for failing to respond in another disciplinary matter.

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The Supreme Court publicly reprimanded O’Brien in 2017 for breaking the rules, and he’s been privately reprimanded at least seven times, including for negligence and failures to communicate with clients.