The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


October 16, 2013

Iowa Bar president: Walker not negligent


“The motion would have been futile and a waste of client’s resources,” Cook said.

Walker also acted reasonably and had ample information to represent the city, Cook said. Although Cook testified he would not have handled the Schultheis case exactly as Walker did, not taking Schultheis’ deposition is a move Walker made that Cook said he also might have made if handling the case.

Cook did not review the transcripts from closed meetings where Walker spoke to the Clinton City Council, but said reviewing those transcripts wasn’t needed to form his opinion.

“(It’s) important to me that he kept the client informed. It’s not important to me what he told them,” Cook said.

The move to pursue mediation in the Schultheis case also was reasonable and appropriate in order to avoid the risks of a trial, Cook said, calling the type of case the city faced dangerous due to the amount of damages the city could have incurred. Cook also testified the terms of the settlement, specifically the no-interest and decade for the city to pay, were “remarkable” and “favorable to the city.”

Cook would testify in his cross-examination that he had not reviewed the actual settlement when forming his opinion that Walker followed the standard of care, but had been “made aware” of the terms.

Walker’s attorney Bob Waterman’s 20-minute direct examination Tuesday afternoon was followed by a more than two-hour and counting cross examination from the city’s attorney, Mike Hannafan.

Hannafan spent an hour questioning Cook about an order this month from U.S. District Judge Linda Reade that found Cook, an attorney from Kansas City, Mo., and others had violated a federal rule that bars attorneys and anyone acting on their behalf from contacting jurors without court permission.

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