Posted May 07, 2012 03:47 pm CDT
A Nebraska lawyer who continued practicing law for over a decade after he was suspended in 1998 for failing to pay state bar dues has been criminally convicted of two misdemeanor counts of unauthorized practice of law and sentenced to 30 days in jail.
David M. Walocha, who is now 43, was disbarred earlier this year for the same conduct.
Prosecutor Katie Benson said the convictions represented just two of the 65 cases in which Walocha represented defendants in Douglas County Court between 1998 and 2011, reports the Omaha World-Herald. However, authorities were barred by the statute of limitations from pursuing charges concerning many of the representations, including five felonies that Walocha handled.
One of Walocha’s former clients is seeking a new trial concerning a child-sex-assault case, arguing that he was denied his constitutional right to an attorney.
Meanwhile, the chief justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court is seeking input from attorneys and staff about what can be done to prevent such a situation from recurring. One potential way to preclude such problems would be to make information about attorney disciplinary cases available online to the public and court staff, the article notes.
ABAJournal.com: “Nebraska Lawyer Who Practiced for 13 Years on a Suspended License Is Disbarred”
ABAJournal.com: “Despite Lack of Law License, Neb. Bartender Practiced from 1998 to 2011”