Friday, March 4, 2011

Cover Up Worse Than Crimes

The Nebraska Supreme Court has disbarred a 2002 law graduate. The court described his background:

[The attorney] graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law in May 2002. [He] worked for a University of Nebraska office of research until June 2004, when he went into solo private practice. Beyond one semester of civil clinic during law school, [he] had no experience working in a law office. He was a solo practitioner until September 16, 2009, when he was temporarily suspended.

The story of his practice is told in a series of three consolidated disciplinary matters involving many clients. The court found that the attorney had engaged in multiple violations of seven rules. His acts of neglect were exacerbated by lies to clients and creation of false documents. His claim of depression as a mitigating factor was rejected.

The court on sanction:

While [his] responses to his clients were negligent and lax, he also lied numerous times, and he also created false documents to hide the fact that he had procrastinated. [He] admits that he failed to notify his clients of his temporary suspension and that he failed to provide his clients with their files so that they could seek other counsel. Although there are letters in the record from other attorneys attesting to [his] competence, the record reflects that [his] problems were due in part to poor management of his private legal practice. The record also demonstrates that he did not have sufficient experience to handle some of his cases and that he did not seek assistance when he realized he did not have the necessary information or skills.

(Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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