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In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Nett

Supreme Court of Minnesota

November 27, 2013

In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Rebekah Mariya Nett, a Minnesota Attorney, Registration No. 299571.

Original Jurisdiction Office of Appellate Courts

Martin A. Cole, Director, Patrick R. Burns, First Assistant Director, Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, Saint Paul, Minnesota, for petitioner.

Zorislav R. Leyderman, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for respondent.

SYLLABUS

1. The referee clearly erred when he found that respondent's cooperation in the disciplinary proceedings and lack of disciplinary history are mitigating factors.

2. Respondent's misconduct warrants an indefinite suspension with no right to petition for reinstatement for a minimum of 9 months.

OPINION

PER CURIAM

The Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility (Director) filed a petition for disciplinary action against respondent Rebekah Mariya Nett. The petition alleged that Nett violated Minn. R. Prof. Conduct 3.1, [1] 4.4(a), [2] 8.2(a), [3] 8.4(d), [4] and 8.4(g)[5] by engaging in a pattern of bad faith litigation, including making false and harassing statements toward judges and others involved in litigation against her clients. Nett answered the petition, but she did not accompany her attorney to the evidentiary hearing before the referee. Following the evidentiary hearing, the referee concluded that Nett had committed the alleged misconduct and recommended an indefinite suspension for a minimum of 6 months as the appropriate discipline. We conclude that the referee clearly erred when he considered Nett's lack of disciplinary history and cooperation with the disciplinary investigation as mitigating factors. We further conclude that the appropriate discipline for Nett's misconduct is an indefinite suspension from the practice of law with no right to petition for reinstatement for 9 months.

I.

Nett was admitted to practice law in Minnesota in May 2000. She had no history of discipline before this matter. Nett's misconduct relates to 11 filings she made in 5 separate matters over the course of 17 months. All of her misconduct occurred in cases in which she represented the Dr. R. C. Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology, Inc. (SIST), or related commercial entities. The referee made the following findings related to Nett's misconduct, which neither party disputes.

U.S. Acquisitions & Oil, Inc., SIST Matter

In August 2010, Nett represented SIST and other related entities in a Wisconsin state court action. Nett sought removal to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.[6] Nett filed several documents containing false accusations about judicial and other local officials, including a document contending that the judiciary and law enforcement had conspired with the mayor of Shawano, Wisconsin, against SIST. That filing also accused local Wisconsin state judges of being members of a secretive racist society, alleged that various judges had discriminated against SIST based on their common race and religion, and complained that courts follow no procedures and act as if there is no law. Nett accused the Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Wisconsin of granting opposing counsel's requests because the opposing counsel was the judge's former law clerk. Subsequent motions and pleadings by Nett contained similar allegations against the opposing party and the opposing party's counsel.

In October 2010, the federal district court sanctioned Nett, ordering her to pay the opposing party's attorney fees and other expenses incurred in bringing a motion for sanctions. In that order, the court called Nett's statements "detailed, serious, [] bizarre[, ] . . . fantastic[, ] and delusional, " and pointed out that the ...


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