Hastings attorney Rebekah Nett faces possible suspensionTwo weeks ago, a special referee recommended that Hastings attorney Rebekah Nett be suspended from the practice of law for six months.
By: Jane Lightbourn, The Hastings Star-Gazette
Two weeks ago, a special referee recommended that Hastings attorney Rebekah Nett be suspended from the practice of law for six months.
Last week, the head of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board said his board of directors believes that a six-month suspension is not severe enough punishment.
Nett practices law out of the Westview Law Center in Hastings. In November, the Board had filed a petition with the Minnesota Supreme Court. The petition cites a number of counts of what is considered unprofessional conduct on the part of Nett, including a pattern of bad faith litigation and reckless and harassing statements, including legal filings that contain religious slurs.
Martin Cole, who heads the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board, indicated that Nett’s professional conduct was among the worst he had seen and deserved more than a six-month suspension.
The board is still reviewing Nett’s case and has yet to make its decision on appropriate punishment.
The previous petition, filed by the board in Novembers, says, “(Nett) has engaged in an extensive pattern of bad faith litigation and the filing of pleadings intended to harass, embarrass, delay or burden third persons, in various courts. In the course of prosecuting these litigations, (Nett) made herself, and filed on behalf of her clients, statements and affidavits, that she either knew to be false, or were made with reckless disregard as their truth or falsity concerning the integrity of judges, adjudicatory officers or public legal officers.”
The petition cited a number of court cases in which it claims Nett filed false statements, failed to complete her research and embarrassed court officers.
For instance: it noted that Nett, in a court-submitted document in Shawano County Circuit in Wisconsin, alleged that local judges were members of a secretive racist group and that some statements lacked a basis in fact and some were made with the knowledge that they were false.
Nett has also been sanctioned by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and was ordered to pay $5,000. An appeal failed. The Court of Appeals subsequently suspended her from the Seventh Circuit Bar.
In May, the United States District issued an order barring Nett from practicing law before the U.S. District Court, for the District of Minnesota, effective July 13, 2012.
The special referee, Retired Ramsey County District Court Judge Charles Flinn Jr., made his recommendation to the Supreme Court Jan. 10.
In his recommendation, Flinn wrote that Nett should be suspended for an “extensive pattern of bad faith litigation” and filing pleadings “intended to harass, embarrass, delay or burden third persons, in various courts.”