State of Nebraska ex rel. Counsel for Discipline of the Nebraska Supreme Court, relator.
Dustin A. Garrison, respondent.
action. Judgment of suspension.
Heavican, C.J., Wright, Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy. Kelch,
and Funke, JJ.
case is before the court on the conditional admission filed
by Dustin A. Garrison, respondent, on December 27, 2016. The
court accepts respondent's conditional admission and
orders that respondent be suspended from the practice of law
for a period of 90 days followed by 1 year's monitored
probation upon reinstatement.
was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Nebraska
on April 15, 2008. At all relevant times, he was engaged in
the private practice of law in Beatrice, Nebraska.
August 24, 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 the one count, the formal charges state that in
August 2008, a client was injured by a vehicle that was [296
Neb. 551] being driven by Devin Witt and that was registered
in Texas to "SERCO, Inc." A police report was
issued, which listed addresses for both Witt and SERCO in
client initially retained a different attorney to represent
him in a claim for damages against Witt and SERCO in Texas.
In July 2009, that attorney was suspended from the practice
of law, and his partner, respondent, began representing the
client. No engagement contract was signed between the client
February 18, 2010, respondent sent a letter to "Serco,
Inc., " in Reston, Virginia, to make a claim for damages
suffered by the client in the August 2008 accident. On
February 19, Serco in Virginia, sent a letter to respondent
stating that it had never employed Witt and that it did not
own any vehicles that were in Nebraska or that were involved
in an accident in August 2008.
21, 2012, respondent filed on a complaint on behalf of the
client against "Serco, Inc., " a New Jersey
corporation, and Witt, individually and as an employee of
Serco in New Jersey. It was alleged in the complaint that
Serco in New Jersey had a registered agent in Lincoln,
Nebraska. Serco in New Jersey was served via U.S. mail
through its registered agent in Lincoln, and Witt was served
via U.S. mail at his address in Borger. A summons was served
via certified mail to Serco in New Jersey, in care of its
registered agent in Lincoln.
October 7, 2013, the trial court entered an order of summary
judgment against Serco in New Jersey in the amount of $210,
216.36. In March 2014, respondent initiated garnishment
proceedings on Serco's account at a Pennsylvania bank.
April 2014, Serco in New Jersey filed a motion to vacate the
default judgment and a motion for temporary injunction, in
which it stated that it was unrelated to the entity doing
business as "SERCO in Borger, Texas, " which had
been identified in the August 2008 police report. Serco in