March 5, 2010
A Balance Of Factors
A disciplinary decision issued today by the Nebraska Supreme Court gives us a good sense of the myriad factors that drive the determination of the appropriate sanction for ethics violations. The attorney was the subject of two complaints. One matter involved neglect and failure to communicate with a divorce client. The attorney claimed that it was his partner's case and accepted responsibility for the mixup. The second matter also involved a divorce case with what the attorney called a "nasty" client. According to the attorney, the client wanted to consult with him by speaker telephone with an unknown man listening. The attorney falsely claimed he had refunded the retainer.
In considering sanction, the court noted a series of private reprimands. The attorney had entered practice after a military and paralegal career. He had suffered through a heart attack, cancer and a divorce. He had cooperated with Counsel for Discipline.
The court determined that the appropriate sanction was a six-month suspension followed by two years of supervised probation. (Mike Frisch)
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