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Associated Press, Published July 18 2012

ND lawyer gets 3-year suspension for ignoring case

BISMARCK — North Dakota's Supreme Court has ordered a Milnor attorney suspended for practicing law for three years.

Trent Mahler must pay $2,500 in restitution to two clients and $500 in disciplinary expenses.

Mahler's suspension begins Aug. 15. He already doesn't have a law license, because he was late in taking continued legal education classes.

The Supreme Court's order says Mahler took a payment from a couple to represent them in a water drainage dispute.

Records in the case show Mahler didn't talk to his clients promptly and charged the couple a higher hourly rate than he said he would.

A disciplinary panel that considered the case recommended that Mahler be disbarred.

The Supreme Court's order says disbarment would have been too harsh. But it says a lengthy suspension is warranted.

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