March 27, 2009
Suspension Results From Dispute With Siblings
A family dispute over the guardianship of a lawyer's mother has resulted in a suspension of three months followed by one year probation by the Nebraska Supreme Court. The attorney had opposed the appointment of a guardian and, after her sister was appointed, fought with her siblings over virtually every aspect of its administration. The attorney had represented the guardian but was granted leave to withdraw. After withdrawal, the attorney violated ethics rules by filing two notices of appeal and another pleading without the authorization of the client.
A referee had recommended a reprimand with probation and disciplinary counsel asked the court to impose a one year suspension. The court noted that the attorney had previously been privately reprimanded for ethics violations in connection with the guardianship and rejected the recommended second reprimand as unduly lenient. The court agreed with the referee that the bar had not established that the attorney had acted dishonestly. The attorney was admitted in 1976 and apparently has never been the subject of discipline except for this family affair. (Mike Frisch)
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