Michelle MacDonald’s lawyer facing additional discipline

Karlowba R. Adams Powell, who serves as Michelle MacDonald’s attorney in her lawsuit against Michael Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota, is facing new sanctions from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

As previously reported by Missing in Minnesota, Adams Powell’s law license was suspended last year for 45 days. As with MacDonald, Adams Powell is currently on probation for 2 years. Minnesota Lawyer was the first to report on the new petition filed against Adams Powell.

In the petition filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court, the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility is requesting a court order revoking Adams Powell’s probation, suspending her law license, or “imposing otherwise appropriate discipline…” based on “unprofessional conduct” by Adams Powell.

The petition claims Adams Powell made false statements to the court, and others, including staff with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, that she engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, that she failed to provide receipts for cash payments, and that she failed to “safeguard client funds.”

If Adams Powell’s law license is suspended, MacDonald will need to find another attorney. MacDonald is currently being investigated by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility for alleged violations of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct governing licensed attorneys.

The investigation into the alleged violations by MacDonald was opened after Missing in Minnesota filed a formal complaint with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility in June after MacDonald filed a “frivolous and vexatious” lawsuit against Missing in Minnesota, which appears to be in violation of an Order of the Minnesota Supreme Court which details the conditions by which MacDonald is allowed to practice law.

Adams Powell’s recent conduct in the courtroom has been criticized by Nathan Hansen, the attorney for Brodkorb and Missing in Minnesota. At a hearing on November 1, 2018, Hansen accused Adams Powell of “lying to the court” during the proceeding. At a court hearing in August, Adams Powell repeatedly made false statements to the court which required Hansen to correct the record.

According to statements made to Minnesota Lawyer by staff with the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, it may take nearly six months for the Minnesota Supreme Court to rule on the petition filed against Adams Powell.

MacDonald’s legal work examined in a new best-selling book

An examination of MacDonald’s legal work is included in the new book, The Girls Are Gone. The book also includes new information about the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki and the adults who conspired to keep the missing sisters and the truth hidden.

MacDonald was labeled in April 2015 as a “person of interest” by the Lakeville Police Department in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki. MacDonald refused to cooperate with the Lakeville Police Department’s investigation into her possible involvement in the disappearance of the sisters  – even after public statements from her that she would cooperate in the investigation. Her criminal defense attorney, Stephen Grigsby, said in 2015 that he would advise MacDonald to not speak with the Lakeville Police Department.

Since being released in October, The Girls Are Gone has been a commercial and critical success. The Kindle Edition of The Girls Are Gone is currently listed on Amazon’s Best Selling True Crime BiographiesThe Girls Are Gone is published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing.

Please follow Missing in Minnesota on Twitter and Facebook for updates on Michelle MacDonald and Karlowba R. Adams Powell.

Allison Mann contributed to this story.

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