On Wednesday, December 28, 2022, the Director of the Office of Lawyer’s Professional Responsibility asked the State of Minnesota Supreme Court for an order imposing appropriate discipline in the attorney discipline matter against Edina attorney Donald B. Nemer for failure to properly communicate with his clients. 

The case is entitled “In the matter of Donald B. Nemer” and was brought by the Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

The charges cited Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15(h), 1.1, 1.3, 1.4(a)(2), 1,4(b), 3.2, 8.4(d), 3.4(c), 3.3(a)(1), 4.1, 8.4(c), 1.5(b) and 1.5(e) which state:

Respondent’s failure to properly document the $3,500 cash payment he received to represent Hornes. 

Respondent’s conduct in failing to be aware of, or to take any steps to become aware of, his ability to seek court funding for Hornes’ Rule 20.02.

Respondent’s failure to diligently represent Hornes throughout the representation, including failing to take any substantive action. 

Respondent’s conduct in failing on July 25, 2018, to adequately consult with Hornes about Hornes’ trial or settlement objectives and to adequately convey to Hornes the information necessary for Hornes to make informed decisions. 

Respondent’s conduct in failing to adequately communicate with Hornes and to provide Horne’s necessary consultation throughout the representation.

Respondent’s failure to adequately and timely consult with and prepare Hornes in advance of the trial led to Hornes’ termination of representation during the trial. 

Respondent’s conduct in knowingly disobeying the court’s instruction to meet with and prepare Hornes on the morning of July 25, 2018. 

Respondent’s conduct in making knowingly false and misleading statements to the court at the hearing. 

Respondent’s failure to clearly communicate the basis or rate of his fee in a written fee agreement, which included ambiguous and conflicting provisions regarding whether the respondent’s fee included representation at trial. 

Respondent’s conduct in splitting legal fees with a lawyer not in his law firm without obtaining from Miller his written agreement to share each lawyer.

The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here

Allegedly, the respondent while handling a client failed to diligently represent and properly communicate with the latter. He also failed to take substantive actions, adequately consult the client, and prepare the same for trials.  

The filing states:

“Respondenť’s failure to adequately communicate and competently and diligently represent Hornes throughout the representation caused significant delays in Hornes’ case and resulted in protracted court proceedings, constituting a failure to make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with Hornes’ interests.”

The filing continues:

“Respondenť’s conduct in failing to be aware of, or to take any steps to become aware of, his ability to seek court funding for Hornes’ Rule 20.02, MRCP, evaluation; failing to make any effort during the two months preceding trial to discern or implement Hornes’ objectives for the representation; and failing to take any substantive action on Hornes’ behalf prior to July 23, 2018, to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the State (particularly in light of the evidence against Hornes) exhibited a lack of thoroughness, preparedness, and legal knowledge reasonably necessary for the representation, in violation of Rule 1.1, MRPC.”

In a Stipulation for Dispensing with Panel Proceedings, for filing a Petition for Disciplinary Action, and for Discipline filed on December 28, 2022, the Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility and the Respondent entered into an agreement where they enjoin into recommending that the appropriate Discipline is a 90 days suspension for the latter. Thus, the Director prays for an Order in the court imposing appropriate discipline and awarding costs and disbursements.  

Mr. Nemer attended Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Nemer practices in Edina, Minnesota with license #207913. His info can be found on Linkedin.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.