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

Supreme Court of Nebraska

March 28, 2014

STATE OF NEBRASKA EX REL. COUNSEL FOR DISCIPLINE OF THE NEBRASKA SUPREME COURT, RELATOR,
v.
STEPHEN L. SMITH, RESPONDENT

Page 319

Original action.

Kent L. Frobish, Assistant Counsel for Discipline, for relator.

Stephen L. Smith, Pro se.

HEAVICAN, C.J., WRIGHT, CONNOLLY, STEPHAN, MCCORMACK, MILLER-LERMAN, and CASSEL, JJ.

OPINION

Page 320

[287 Neb. 756] Per Curiam.

INTRODUCTION

Stephen L. Smith was disbarred in 2008. He filed a petition for reinstatement on March 11, 2013. Following a hearing, the referee recommended that the petition for reinstatement be denied. For the reasons stated below, we grant Smith's petition.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Smith was admitted to the practice of law in 1994, and was a solo practitioner in Omaha, Nebraska. Smith was retained by Thomas Kawa in 2005. In 2006, Kawa filed a grievance against Smith, alleging that Smith had not provided him an accounting of an advance payment made by Kawa.

Smith neglected to respond to the grievance for some time, and formal charges were filed against him. Though Smith eventually responded, his responses were both incomplete and not prompt. The Counsel for Discipline requested that this court grant a motion for judgment on the pleadings. We did so and, following briefing and argument, disbarred Smith on March 7, 2008. A more complete recitation of the underlying facts can be found in our opinion disbarring Smith.[1]

[287 Neb. 757] On March 11, 2013, Smith filed a petition for reinstatement. This court appointed a referee, and a hearing was held on Smith's petition. The evidence presented at the hearing included Smith's testimony, six letters of recommendation, a letter from a psychologist, a certificate of completion ...


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