Solos & Small Firms

Left Largely in Charge as Supervising Lawyer Struggled, Associate Did Too Much, Is Reprimanded

A young lawyer left largely in charge at a small Nebraska law firm as the supervising partner missed appointments and was eventually hospitalized for stress apparently tried to step in and fill the void.

But Jeremy R. Shirk went too far, not only signing pleadings and checks at the partner’s direction, since he was the only other lawyer in the office, but notarizing some filings on which he had signed the partner’s name and, allegedly with her permission, writing himself a $500 paycheck from the law firm’s trust account, according to the Legal Profession Blog and the Nebraska Supreme Court’s ruling (PDF) today.

It indicates that Shirk cooperated with attorney ethics authorities and imposes a public reprimand as discipline.

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