State of Nebraska ex rel. Counsel for Discipline of the Nebraska Supreme Court, Relator,
Alan D. Martin, Respondent.
action. Judgment of public reprimand.
Heavican, C.J., Wright, Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Kelch,
and Funke, JJ.
case is before the court on the conditional admission filed
by Alan D. Martin, respondent, on August 3, 2016. The court
accepts respondent's conditional admission and enters an
order of public reprimand.
was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Nebraska
on July 23, 2005. At all relevant times, he was engaged in
the private practice of law in Omaha, Nebraska.
August 3, 2016, the Counsel for Discipline of the Nebraska
Supreme Court filed formal charges against respondent. The
formal charges consist of one count against respondent. With
respect to this count, the formal charges state that in April
2012, respondent was retained by a client to legalize the
immigration status of her husband, who was an undocumented
individual. The clients agreed to pay $4, 500 in attorney
fees plus filing fees. The husband client stated on intake
forms for [294 Neb. 806] respondent that he was
"'EWI, '" which means "entered without
inspection, " and "'undocumented.'"
April 15, 2013, respondent filed the following forms with the
Department of Homeland Security (the Department) on behalf of
the clients: I-130, "Petition for Alien Relative";
I-485, "Application to Register Permanent Residence or
Adjust Status by Applicant"; and I-765,
"Application for Employment Authorization."
Respondent also filed form G-28, "Notice of Entry of
Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative."
All the forms were signed by respondent.
to the formal charges, in order to be eligible for an
adjustment of status pursuant to the I-485 application,
"an alien must: a. [b]e physically present in the United
States; b. [h]ave an approved immigration petition (I-130);
[and] c.[m]ust not have entered the United States
8, 2013, the Department issued a request for initial evidence
of eligibility to file the I-485 application for the husband
client. The request was for evidence of lawful admission or
parole into the United States, as well as tax returns and
medical information. On July 30, respondent submitted
additional information to the Department pursuant to the
August 13, 2013, form I-130, "Petition for Alien
Relative, " for the husband client was approved. On
August 23, the I-485 adjustment of status application was
denied because the evidence submitted was not sufficient to
establish his eligibility for the benefit sought.
Specifically, the husband client had failed to submit
evidence of lawful admission or parole into the United States
or eligibility for an adjustment of status. On August 23,
respondent notified the clients that the I-130 form was
approved and that the scope of his representation was
to the formal charges, in a letter from respondent to the
Counsel for Discipline dated September 11, 2014, respondent
stated that the clients brought the I-485 form to his office
and represented that the husband client was qualified [294
Neb. 807] to file the I-485 form, that he did not know of the
husband client's ineligibility to apply for a legal
immigration status, and that he failed to properly see and
review the document that was brought in by the husband
letter from respondent to the Counsel for Discipline dated
February 17, 2016, respondent stated that he was led to
believe that his paralegal was competent in immigration
applications and that all respondent needed to do was to
review the documents and procedures for his signatures.
Respondent stated that his paralegal prepared all of the
immigration forms regarding the husband client for
respondent's review and signature.
further stated in his February 17, 2016, letter that between
approximately August 2007 and March 2009, respondent closed
his practice due to illness. When he reopened his practice,
respondent reported that he was very weak and heavily
medicated. After respondent had ...