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

Supreme Court of Nebraska

August 17, 2018

State of Nebraska ex rel. Counsel for Discipline of the Nebraska Supreme Court, relator.
v.
Martin J. Troshynski, respondent.

          Original action. Judgment of suspension.

          Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Funke, and Papik, JJ.

          PER CURIAM.

         INTRODUCTION

         On March 15, 2017, formal charges containing one count were filed by the office of the Counsel for Discipline of the Nebraska Supreme Court, relator, against respondent, Martin J. Troshynski. Respondent filed an answer to the charges on July 19. A referee was appointed on September 5. On November 8, relator filed amended formal charges after obtaining leave of this court to do so. The referee conducted a hearing on December 19.

         The referee filed a report on January 9, 2018. With respect to the charges, the referee concluded that through respondent's conduct, he had breached the following provisions of the Nebraska Court Rules of Professional Conduct: Neb. Ct. R of Prof. Cond. §§ 3-501.3 (diligence), 3-501.4(a)(3) and (4) (communication), 3-503.4 (fairness to opposing party and counsel), 3-508.1(b) (responding to bar admission and disciplinary matters), and 3-508.4(a) and (d) (conduct prejudicial to administration of justice) (rev. 2016). The referee further [300 Neb. 764] found that respondent had violated his oath of office as an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Nebraska. See Neb. Rev. Stat. § 7-104 (Reissue 2012). With respect to the discipline to be imposed, the referee recommended suspension of respondent's license to practice law for a period of 45 days, with a period of supervision of 2 years upon readmission. Respondent agreed to the proposed sanction. Neither relator nor respondent filed exceptions to the referee's report. Relator filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Neb. Ct. R. § 3-310(L) (rev. 2014) of the disciplinary rules. Respondent did not respond to the motion. We grant the motion for judgment on the pleadings and impose discipline as indicated below.

         FACTS

         Respondent was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Nebraska on September 14, 1990. At all times relevant to these proceedings, he has practiced in North Platte, Nebraska.

         The substance of the referee's findings may be summarized as follows: respondent has been practicing for 27 years, is currently a solo practitioner, and his current law practice involves criminal defense and general practice. The violations arise from respondent's conduct with respect to two cases.

         T.W. and G.D. 's Case.

         In April 2010, T.W. and G.D. retained respondent to represent them in matters arising from their injuries from an automobile collision, and in 2013, respondent filed a complaint in the district court for Lincoln County on their behalf. In the course of that suit, the defendants served discovery requests to respondent in December 2013, but respondent did not provide the requested documents in 2014 or most of 2015, despite three motions to compel discovery relating to that 2013 request. On August 13, 2015, respondent failed to appear at a hearing and the district court ordered him to provide the requested documents or the case would be dismissed. Respondent failed to comply with the court's order, and the case was dismissed [300 Neb. 765] without prejudice on September 3, 2015. Respondent did not notify his clients. T.W. and G.D. learned of the dismissal from another source and not from respondent. After respondent filed a series of motions attempting to reinstate the case, T.W. and G.D.'s lawsuit was ultimately dismissed.

         When relator twice requested respondent's client files regarding T.W. and G.D, respondent failed to respond for approximately 4 months.

         W.N. s Case.

         W.N. retained respondent to represent her in a personal injury case arising out of a 2006 automobile collision. Respondent filed a complaint in the case in the district court for Lincoln County in January 2010. On October 21, the defendants sent a discovery request to respondent. On July 16, 2012, respondent filed a stipulation to continue the matter in which the parties agreed that additional time was needed to conduct discovery. On February 5, 2013, the court dismissed the case for lack of prosecution. Respondent was able to reinstate the case, but continued to fail to respond to discovery. The case was dismissed again without prejudice after respondent failed to file a response to the court's ...


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