Friday, May 20, 2022
The Nebraska Supreme Court has imposed reciprocal discipline on a "limited record" based on misconduct found in Texas
On July 14, 2021, the State Bar of Texas issued an “Agreed Judgment of Active Suspension.” The discipline arose out of the respondent’s “engag[ing] in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation” while serving as voluntary treasurer for a youth sports club.
Texas had imposed a two-year suspension with conditions; Respondent sought a lesser sanction here
The respondent labeled her response to the show cause order as confidential. She requested discipline less severe than the Texas discipline. The respondent suggested probation in lieu of suspension, reprimand by the court, reprimand by the Disciplinary Review Board, or suspension for a period less than 1 year. Her unsworn response indicates that she had personal issues at the time of her misconduct, which we do not detail here.
Her agreement to discipline in Texas led to the court's rejection of a lesser sanction
The relator’s brief points out that the respondent’s misconduct was unrelated to her law practice, did not implicate any breach in her duty to her clients, and did not involve a failure to respond to disciplinary inquiries. It appears she had no prior discipline. We take into consideration the respondent’s explanation of the situation she was in at the time of her misconduct. But we also observe that the respondent had an opportunity to contest the charge and offer mitigating circumstances during the investigatory hearing in the Texas proceeding, that she does not challenge the discipline ordered by the State Bar of Texas, and that she did not request a hearing in Nebraska.
The discipline was imposed retroactively in STATE EX REL. COUNSEL FOR DIS. v. PANICK.
Reciprocal discipline was also ordered in Oklahoma. (Mike Frisch)