The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 18, 2013

Joplin attorney’s law license suspended

The Missouri Supreme Court temporarily suspended Joplin attorney Dan Whitworth’s law license Friday while he remains under investigation in connection with the forging of endorsements on checks and stolen client funds.

The state’s high court ordered the interim suspension of Whitworth’s license that the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel had sought in documents filed with the court Oct. 7.

Those documents alleged that Whitworth has engaged in several instances of “serious professional misconduct” and that he posed “a substantial threat of irreparable harm to the public.”

The Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel initiated its latest probe of Whitworth when Mid-Missouri Bank notified the office on May 22, 2013, that a trust account held by Whitworth held insufficient funds to cover a reversal of a $60,000 deposit he made into the account in June of the preceding year.

The bank had been presented with an affidavit of forgery regarding the endorsement on the check, which represented the final payment to Lyddon Aero Center of its settlement of a lawsuit against LP&F Trucking Inc., a company owned by the late Joplin businessman G.W. Jackson. The purported endorsement of the check by the owner of Lyddon Aero Center had been forged, according to information filed on behalf of the chief disciplinary counsel.

An investigator with the office pulled the bank records of the trust account for the period of Jan. 1, 2010, through April 2013 and found evidence of “forged check endorsements and court documents and misappropriated funds.”

The investigator learned that a portion of the lawsuit settlement had been used to pay the tax debts of another client, whose prior payments to the attorney had been used for still other purposes. There was also evidence that he misappropriated funds of clients in a workers’ compensation case and a probate case.

Since the chief disciplinary counsel filed its request with the court, two of those past clients have reported being contacted by a law enforcement agency. One of them identified the agency as the Missouri State Highway Patrol, suggesting that a criminal investigation of Whitworth is under way. But no charges have been brought against him.

Prior measures

Dan Whitworth was reprimanded by the Missouri Supreme Court in 2008 for failing to have a written fee agreement in a contingency case and failing to communicate with a client regarding official notices in a case before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He also has been admonished by the court on four other occasions.

Text Only
Local News
  • outdoor_waylanskuku.jpg Last remaining Ku-Ku

    While other fast food locations along Miami’s portion of Route 66 tend to slow down in the mid-afternoon, Eugene Waylan is still hard at work behind his grill serving up hamburgers to a packed drive through.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Grant to fund solar energy system for PSU’s Plaster Center

    An $80,000 grant from Westar Energy will fund solar panels to provide both energy and education at the Robert W. Plaster Center, now under construction at Pittsburg State University.

    August 1, 2014

  • Habitat slates volunteer work days

    In the wake of the 2011 tornado, Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity has been a partner with organizations and individuals in the construction of 86 new houses. But what’s also needed, Executive Director Scott Clayton said, are repairs to area homes.

    July 31, 2014

  • Jasper County voters to decide three offices

    Two incumbents are facing challengers and three candidates are vying for what will be an open county office in primary balloting Tuesday in Jasper County.

    July 31, 2014

  • Event for veterans on tap at Crowder

    For area veterans who have returned home from more than a decade at war, the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks hopes to send a simple message at an event this weekend: Welcome home.

    August 1, 2014

  • Brownback names 3 Kansas Board of Regents members

    Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday named a former veteran Kansas House member and two attorneys to the board overseeing the state’s higher education system.

    August 1, 2014

  • Survey seeks views on Joplin’s future goals

    Residents are being asked to fill out a survey on priorities for Joplin’s future. The effort was inspired by a meeting of community leaders last month. Survey forms are available at the Joplin Public Library and online at

    July 31, 2014

  • City Council member criticizes master developer in TV interview

    A member of the Joplin City Council told an Amarillo, Texas, newscaster that Joplin’s contracted master developer has “overpromised and underdelivered.” Councilman Benjamin Rosenberg’s comments were included in a two-part report that aired this week on Amarillo television station KVII-TV.

    July 31, 2014

  • Southeast Kansas health center receives federal funding for mental health services

    The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas was awarded a $250,000 grant Thursday, part of $54.6 million in Affordable Care Act mental health services funding awarded to 221 such centers nationwide.

    July 31, 2014

  • Denied request for National Guard visit draws attention from Fox News host

    A Carthage church finds itself in the middle of a media storm after the Missouri National Guard, citing short notice and time constraints, was not able to fulfill a request last week to appear at the church’s vacation Bible school.

    July 31, 2014

Must Read


Do you plan on voting in the Aug. 5 elections being held in Missouri and Kansas?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter