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State ex rel. Counsel for Discipline of Nebraska Supreme Court v. Pfanstiel

Supreme Court of Nebraska

December 27, 2013

State of Nebraska ex rel. Counsel for Discipline of the Nebraska Supreme Court, relator,
v.
Christopher A. Pfanstiel, respondent.

Original action. Judgment of public reprimand.

Heavican, C.J., Wright, Connolly, Stephan, McCormack, Miller-Lerman, and Cassel, JJ.

Page 213

PER CURIAM.

INTRODUCTION

Respondent, Christopher A. Pfanstiel, was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Nebraska on January 17, 2000. At all relevant times, he was engaged in the private practice of law in Omaha, Nebraska. On September 25, 2013, the Counsel for Discipline of the Nebraska Supreme Court filed formal charges consisting of one count against respondent. In the one count, it was alleged that by his conduct, respondent had violated his oath of office as an attorney, Neb.Rev.Stat. § 7-104 (Reissue 2012), Neb. Ct. R. § 3-318 of the disciplinary rules, and Neb. Ct. R. of Prof. Cond. §§ 3-503.3(a) (candor toward tribunal) and 3-508.4(a) and (d) (misconduct).

On November 8, 2013, respondent filed a conditional admission pursuant to Neb. Ct. R. § 3-313 of the disciplinary rules, in which he conditionally admitted that he violated his oath of office as an attorney and §§ 3-318, 3-503.3(a), and 3-508.4(a) and (d). Respondent knowingly chose not to challenge or contest the truth of the matters conditionally admitted and waived all proceedings against him in connection therewith in exchange for a public reprimand.

The proposed conditional admission included a declaration by the Counsel for Discipline, stating that respondent's request for public reprimand is appropriate.

Upon due consideration, we approve the conditional admission and order that respondent be publicly reprimanded.

[287 Neb. 130] FACTS

The formal charges state that on January 20, 2012, respondent was personally sued in the county court for Douglas County to collect on a plumbing bill incurred by respondent in the amount of $1,158.96. See Credit Bureau Services, Inc. v. Christopher A. Pfanstiel, case No. CI 12-1712. Respondent was personally served with summons on January 25.

On January 30, 2012, respondent filed a motion to dismiss, alleging that the county court for Douglas County lacked jurisdiction because the plumbing services were contracted for and provided with respect to property owned by respondent in Saunders County. Respondent scheduled his motion to be heard on February 9 and sent notice to the attorneys representing Credit Bureau Services, Inc.

On February 3, 2012, an attorney representing Credit Bureau Services (the first attorney) filed a motion to continue the hearing of respondent's motion to February 23, and a copy of the motion to continue was mailed to respondent. On February 7, the county court issued an order continuing the hearing on respondent's motion to dismiss to February 23.

On February 23, 2012, respondent's motion to dismiss came on for hearing before the county court. Respondent failed to attend the hearing, and the court overruled the motion.

On March 14, 2012, a second attorney representing Credit Bureau Services (the second attorney) filed a motion for default judgment against respondent. On that day, the court entered default judgment against respondent in the amount of $1,158.96. Notice of the default ...


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