Thursday, August 26, 2010

"I Did Not Have Sex With That Woman!--uh, In the Courthouse"

The Des Moines Register has continuing coverage of the great Clovis Bowles, a lawyer who makes other lawyers cringe in disgust.  Here's the Register's account of the twists and turns in the disciplinary case pending against Bowles for sex with an emotionally disturbed criminal client:

"A Waterloo lawyer says allegations that he had sex with a client in an Iowa courthouse are 'completely baseless.' The Iowa Supreme Court’s Attorney Disciplinary Board alleges that Clovis M. Bowles, 56, had sexual relations with a 33-year-old female client on several occasions in 2007 and 2008.

Bowles was allegedly aware the client had a history of emotional problems and had hired him shortly after attempting suicide and checking herself into a psychiatric facility. The Grievance Commission of the Iowa Supreme Court is recommending that the court suspend Bowles’ law license for three years.  Bowles said Thursday he did have sex with his client, but the commission members erred when they implied that his client was performing oral sex on him in the Black Hawk County Courthouse’s law library when someone walked in and interrupted them.

'Those findings are completely baseless,'he said.

Bowles said he grabbed his client’s buttocks while ushering her into the law library where the conversation quickly veered from a legal proceeding that he was handling on her behalf to something that was sexual in nature. But, Bowles said, almost immediately someone walked into the law library. His client stood up and the two of them immediately left the library, he said. 'We weren’t in there more than 20 seconds,' he added.

The next day, Bowles allegedly represented the woman during a criminal court hearing.  Bowles said that at his recent disciplinary hearing, commission members asked him whether he and his client engaged in oral sex in the courthouse library.

'I asked them to define oral sex for me and they refused,' he said. 'So I denied it.'

Bowles said he fell in love with the woman shortly after she hired him as her attorney in August 2007. The two had sex in his office and, later, at her home, he said.  A few weeks later, the woman filed a formal ethics complaint against Bowles, outlining the dual nature of their relationship. Bowles contacted her a short time later and allegedly asked her how they could 'make this whole thing go away.'

Within days, the two were married. They divorced after just six weeks, with Bowles agreeing to pay her $200 per month in alimony.  Bowles said the couple divorced only because social workers were telling the woman she needed to demonstrate independence if she wanted to regain custody of her children. However, he said he also believes that the woman initially agreed to have sex with him as part of a conspiracy to blackmail him.

Bowles said he and the woman two have remained friendly although he has no plans to rekindle the romantic side of their relationship.

'She’s the greatest little cook in the world,' he said. 'But how many times do you urinate on an electric fence before you say, ‘God, this is not a good thing for me to do?’ '

The Grievance Commission’s recommendation is based in part on a finding that Bowles not only had sex with a client, but repeatedly lied about it to investigators when questioned. Bowles acknowledges both of those offenses, but says he regrets his actions. 'I had an affair with a client,' he said. 'And I lied when I denied it. I shouldn’t have, but I did.'"
There's just so much to be said about Clovis Bowles, but I'll leave it unsaid.  What I want to know is how it is that the Iowa Disciplinary authorities think a 3 year suspension will render this guy's character fit to represent Iowans in the future? 

Do not screw the client, dammit.


  1. Because Mr. Bowles had over 800 clients in a period of six years and never had a similar allegation levied against him? Because the client, street name Holly Wood Star had telephoned him eight times, claiming her pimp Kelvin Scott had forced her to set Mr. Bowles up? Because the night Mr. Bowles and his ex-wife agreed to marry in the Black Hawk Co. Courthouse, at that the very moment Kelvin Scott was setting fire to her house on Vine Street?

    Incidentally, Mr. Bowles was accused of providing legal services in exchange for sex from his former wife/client, and when he read it aloud to her during the hearing she blurted out: "I didn't say that!!". Without any evidence, the panel made a finding that Mr. Bowles coerced his former client/wife into sex for legal services. Read the transcripts.

  2. Anon@1:33

    Thank you for your insight, you truly are very close to Mr. Bowles to know the facts as intimately as you do. Let's see what additional facts emerge in the wake of the publicity given this situation? Nonetheless, a professional maintains boundaries with clients and part of the reason for the maintenance of these boundaries is to avoid what Mr. Bowles alleges he was unable to avoid. You now add that the former client was a prostitute, didn't Mr. Bowles know this? Didn't Mr. Bowles ascertain that she was mentally ill? Didn't Mr. Bowles, notwithstanding his professional relationship with the client have sex with her? What the hell are you talking about , Anon? This guy then lied about the relationship to investigators and continues to try to rationalize the conduct! You must be drinking the same water, Mr. Bowles is drinking and the substance is warping your judgment, which of course permissible if you aren't someone's attorney and screwing them too.

  3. In many states, a suspension of a year and a day requires a demonstration of fitness to be readmitted. In most cases, it is equivalent to
    being disbarred.

  4. Anon@3:31
    Thank you for your cointribution, it seems incredible to me based ont he reported comments of this attorney that he would be allowed to ever represent clients as a lawyer again. He appears not to get it.

    I speak as someone serving a suspension.

  5. He's a con-man. And is a mental case.

  6. The last poster was totally correct. He's a real nut case who's had mental/depression and emotional issues for many, many years (and has, at times, needed to take medication to keep it under control/deal with it). One only need take a look at the guy's facebook to see the ramblings of an obviously unbalanced individual who has lived and who continues to live a (mostly self-induced) drama-filled life, who admittedly enjoys p---ing people off and who relishes a "counting coup" methodology when getting revenge/getting even with his perceived "enemies" - NOT someone I'd want dealing with my legal issues.

  7. Hes bi-polar and mental

  8. Sadly, or maybe thankfully given his tortured existence (born to a teen mother who literally tried to sell him as a baby, perception of always being the bastard / "red-headed stepchild" in his own family, possessed of learning disabilities that made school difficult and passing the bar a years-long effort, wanting of professional respect and status, financially challenged, lacking of an enduring romantic relationship, and subject to a host of mental / emotional issues), Mr. Bowles passed away (due to ?) at his home in Lisbon, Iowa on January 19, 2015.

    Hopefully, Mr. Bowles has found in the afterlife the peace that so eluded him in his life here on earth.