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The Iowa Supreme Court suspended a lawyer’s license on Wednesday for submitting a $122,000 bill for work that included a plagiarized legal brief. An ethics panel of the Iowa State Bar Association had recommended that William J. Lane’s license be suspended for three months, but the high court doubled that to six months. His fee award in the case, a lawsuit filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act, was reduced to $20,000. “Lane plagiarized from a treatise and submitted his plagiarized work to the court as his own,” the court said. “This plagiarism constituted, among other things, a misrepresentation to the court.” Lane, of Sioux City, Iowa, had represented Daniel Sicard in an ADA case tried in federal court in 1996. He later submitted to the court a bill for $104,127 in attorney fees, plus $13,363.19 in costs. Included in the bill was $16,000 for writing a legal brief that the court said “was largely copied from an uncredited source.” “Lane copied the entire portion of his legal argument out of a book and then claimed it took him 80 hours to write the brief containing the copied material,” the court said. The book was “Employment Discrimination Law,” by Barbara Lindemann and Paul Grossman, printed in 1996. The court did not give details on Sicard’s lawsuit or its disposition. There was no telephone listing for Sicard and no immediate response to calls to the State Bar ethics panel or Lane. Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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