Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Mrs. Helen M. SCHULTZ BREWER, complainant in disbarment proceedings against Garfield E. BREESE, Mason City attorney, being heard here before a court of three judges, testified Wednesday as the first witness for the state.
Under direct examination by Harry GARRETT, assistant attorney general commissioned to prosecute the action, she covered negotiations and events leading up to the suits for rent brought against her by A. W. HARROUN from whom she rented a building occupied by the BREWER Tire and Battery company.
Her testimony followed closely the allegations made Tuesday by Attorney GARRETT in his opening statement, in which he stated that three rent judgments awarded to Mr. HARROUN against her, were the result of a pleading filed for her by Mr. BREESE who was her attorney in the action on which the first judgment was rendered by Judge Joseph J. CLARK in district court here.
John SENNEFF, appearing for Mr. BREESE, answered Mr. GARRETT'S statement Tuesday with denials of every important allegation and termed most of the statements set forth by Mr. GARRETT "misinformation."
Fortunately, Mr. SENNEFF continued, the shorthand records and transcriptions made when Mr. BREESE, at Mrs. BREWER'S direction, dictated the pleading in question. The defense attorney also maintained that Mrs. BREWER took a copy of the pleading to her home, kept it for two or three days, and then returned it to Mr. BREESE'S office and asked that a few changes be made in paragraph No. 16 and subsequent paragraphs, but stated that the remainder of the pleading was all right.
These changes were made, Mr. SENNEFF said, and verified by Mrs. BREWER before the answer was filed, and paragraph No. 6, to which Mrs. BREWER is now objecting, remained as it was originally written and passed on by her.
Mrs. Brewer Acted in Bad Faith
In Prosecuting Case, Decision.
Ruling that Mrs. Helen M. BREWER had "totally failed to establish any case" in her attempt to disbar Garfield E.
BREESE, Mason City attorney, District Judge George W. WOOD, presiding in the three judge court which heard the
proceedings here, dismissed the complaint at the close of the defendant's evidence at 5 o'clock Friday afternoon.
Following the dismissal of the case the judges filed a written opinion in which they held not only that "the
accusations made by the complainant are wholly unsustained" but that Mr. BREESE handled the litigation "in a lawyer-like
manner and with due regard for the principles of law involved" and that the accusations made by Mrs. BREWER were
"baseless and in bad faith and entirely lacking in good faith."
Following the dismissal of the case the judges filed a written opinion in which they held not only that "the accusations made by the complainant are wholly unsustained" but that Mr. BREESE handled the litigation "in a lawyer-like manner and with due regard for the principles of law involved" and that the accusations made by Mrs. BREWER were "baseless and in bad faith and entirely lacking in good faith."
Following is the written opinion in full:
"But it remembered, that the above entitled hearing came on to be heard before the undersigned court appointed by the chief justice of the supreme court of the state of Iowa to hear said matter under and pursuant to the provisions of chapter 483 of the code of 1935; said cause came on for trial at the courthouse in Mason City, Iowa on the 10th day of March, 1936, Harry GARRET, assistant attorney general, and Hines MOUNT, assistant county attorney of Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, as attorneys in the prosecution of the charges, and SENNEFF, BLISS and SENNEFF appearing for the accused.
"And the court, after hearing the evidence, finds:
"1. That the accusations made by the complainant are wholly unsustained.
"2. That there is no credible evidence in the record to sustain said accusations, or any part thereof.
"3. That the accused acted with fidelity towards his then client, Helen M. BREWER and the BREWER Tire & Battery company, and the record dislcoses (sic) nothing in the matter of steps taken by him or of things done by him in the representation of said clients in the case of A. W. HARROUN vs. the said Helen M. BREWER and the BREWER Tire & Battery company that is in any manner the subject of criticism or censure, but on the contrary the court finds that the things done by the said accused in said litigation were done in a lawyer-like manner and with due regard for the principles of law involved.
"4. The court further finds that the accused throughout all his representations of the said Helen M. BREWER and the BREWER Tire & Battery company gave faithful and proper representation until he was by the complainant discharged.
"5. The court further finds that the accusations made by the complainant were baseless and in bad faith and entirely lacking in good faith.
"It is, therefore, ordered, adjudged, decreed and found that the accusations be dismissed, and that the accused by and is hereby acquitted.
"All of the undersigned concur in the foregoing findings and entry.
"Witness our hands this 13th day of March, A.D. 1936.
"Judges who sat as a court to hear and decide the charges against accused pursuant to appointment by the chief justice of the supreme court of Iowa."
Mr. MOUNT came into the case on appointment by Mr. GARRETT as provided by statue in the handling of disbarment proceedings.
The decision of the judges was given immediately after the close of the evidence, Judge WOOD stating arguments would not be necessary inasmuch as the case involved only questions of fact.
Immediately after the decision was announced, members of the bar and other friends crowded around to congratulate Mr. BREESE. His office was likewise besieged Saturday by persons extending their congratulations.
Among the final witnesses for the defense was Judge T. A. BEARDMORE, the last of four judges in this suit.
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2012
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