Friday, May 5, 2017
Don't Worry, Be Happy
The Nebraska Supreme Court imposed a 90-day suspension with conditions based on a conditional admissions of a lack of competence, diligence, communication and related misconduct.
The method of communication was Facebook.
Between December 2010 and April 2015, the client and respondent communicated via Facebook messages. Throughout the pendency of the case, the client asked numerous questions regarding the progress of the case and asked for explanations regarding the lawsuit. According to the formal charges,
[r]espondent responded with statements such as “relax”, “I will take care of it”, “I will explain later”, “we are fine”, “we won”, “Be happy. We are in the driver’s seat”, “I’m busy right now”, “u realize we sued the wrong company right? We got the money from a company that had it. The correct company would never have had this type of money to pay our judgment”, “this is complicated”, “we’ve been busting our asses getting ready for this hearing”, “I can’t explain the whole process”, and claimed they will have to write a book to explain it all to him.
The formal charges state that respondent failed to adequately answer the client’s questions and adequately explain what was happening regarding the status of the client’s lawsuit.
In April 2014, respondent discussed his fee amount with the client via Facebook messages. Respondent informed the client that his usual fee was 33 to 40 percent, but that he would accept 33 percent from the client’s award.
Respondent is suspended from the practice of law for a period of 90 days, effective immediately, after which period respondent may apply for reinstatement to the bar. Should respondent apply for reinstatement, his reinstatement shall be conditioned upon respondent’s being on probation for a period of 1 year, including monitoring, following reinstatement, subject to the terms agreed to by respondent in the conditional admission and outlined above. Acceptance of an application for reinstatement is conditioned on the application’s being accompanied by a proposed monitored probation plan, the terms of which are consistent with this opinion.