Monday, November 20, 2006
by Mike Frisch
The Nebraska disiplinary system apparently takes a dim view of ad hominem attacks on its Counsel for Discipline. In State ex rel. Counsel for Discipline v. Beach, the Supreme Court disbarred an attorney for what appears to be a severe case of overinvolvement with his client. Retained to assist in a probation revocation, the attorney wrote a series of unauthorized letters that disclosed confidential information, including a profane attack directed to the client's husband, whom he urged to commit suicide. He drafted a divorce petition without a request from the client. Although she was on probation and ordered not to drink, he took her to bars and bought her alcohol. When charges were brought, he attacked an attorney who assisted the now-former client and opined that "The practice of law was more enjoyable before feminazi [word omitted] like you came on the scene" and referring to disciplinary counsel as a "hitman." In imposing disbarment, the court held that "Hostile, threatening, and disruptive conduct reflects on an attorney's honesty, trustworthiness, diligence, and reliability and adversely reflects on one's fitness to practice law."