The Iowa Supreme Court has suspended the license of a western Iowa lawyer after he admitted to a sexual relationship with a client.
The court has suspended the license of Michael Jacobsma for 30 days and ordered that he continue mental health counseling until he is released by his therapist. Jacobsma practices law in Sioux City and Orange city and admitted that from May to November of 2017 he had a sexual relationship with a female client.
Two partners in his law firm confronted him and told him he would have to report the relationship or they would report it. The ruling on the suspension says the Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission found no allegations or evidence that Jacobsma deliberately preyed on his client’s vulnerable personal, mental, or financial state. Or that the relationship was uninvited, unwanted, or harassing toward the woman.
The Supreme Court also suspended the license of a Marshalltown attorney after she admitted to having sex with a client.
The court suspended the license of Melissa Nine for 30 days after she admitted that she had a sexual relationship with a client while representing him in his divorce. The suspension came after Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board determined this was an isolated occurrence and nobody appeared to suffer harm from the relationship.
The commission also noted Nine’s counseling to address mental health issues may have played a role in her misconduct and it said she has done “admirable” pro bono work and has a significant history of involvement in the community and within the legal profession.
Read more about the suspension in the links below: