Ethics Opinions
Iowa Supreme Court Board of Professional Ethics and Conduct

Date of Opinion: 06/05/1997

Opinion Number: 96-31

Title: Ghost Writing Pleadings

Opinion: You request an opinion as to the propriety of drafting a dissolution petition without charge for an indigent who wishes to proceed pro se. You would indicate on the bottom of the petition that you had drafted it.

Formal Opinions 94-35 (1995) and 96-7 (1996) address violation of DR 1-102(A)(1) by preparing pro se pleadings without identifying lawyer authorship.

It is the opinion of the Board that as long as the Court is informed of the lawyer who prepared the pleading no such violation would occur and it would not be improper.

The Board has no jurisdiction to determine the legal effect or your legal responsibilities arising out of indicating such authorship.