Lawyer who ignored client’s Facebook inquiries about his case received a 90-day suspension

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On April 27, 2017, the Nebraska Supreme Court ordered the suspension of an attorney from the practice of law for a period of 90 days followed by 1 year’s monitored probation.

The Counsel for Discipline of the Nebraska Supreme Court filed formal charges against the attorney.

According to the charges, the attorney had taken over a personal injury case and “failed to adequately answer the client’s questions and adequately explain what was happening regarding the status of the client’s lawsuit.” According to the charges, the respondent

violated his oath of office as an attorney, and Neb. Ct. R. of Prof. Cond. §§ 3-501.1 (competence), 3-501.3 (diligence), 3-501.4(a) and (b) (communications), 3-501.5(b) and (c) (fees), and 3-508.4(a) (misconduct).

The client and the attorney communicated via Facebook messages and when the client would ask questions regarding the progress of the case the attorney would reply 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.”

This information was not satisfactory to the client, who filed an ethics complaint.

State ex rel. Counsel for Dis. v. Garrison is available here                  Open PDF

 

For more information on professional malpractice cases, Francesca Giannoni-Crystal

 

 

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