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Justices find attorney practicing law after resignation

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The Indiana Supreme Court has fined Brian L. Nehrig $1,000 and extended his ban from practice after finding he committed the unauthorized practice of law. Nehrig resigned from the bar in 2007, and he was sentenced in 2010 after pleading guilty to mail fraud.

The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission charged Nehrig with engaging in a pattern of fraudulent practices in representing a mortgage company in foreclosure actions, including his alteration of sheriff's deeds. Nehrig worked as a foreclosure attorney doing work for Citifinancial in 2005 and 2006. Nehrig sometimes set up side deals with friends and associates to buy properties at sheriff’s sales, and he did not send Citifinancial the profits. Citifinancial lost $66,000 from Nehrig’s scheme, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission began investigating Nehrig, and he was initially suspended, but later tendered his resignation in August 2007. The FBI charged him with mail fraud in October 2009, to which he pleaded guilty. He received three years of probation.

But after his resignation, he rented space at the law office of John R. McManus Jr. and was included in a staff photo on the firm’s website. Nehrig’s primary focus was facilitating “short sales” of real estate, but he performed other work outside of the office, including tax issues. He also opened a checking account in the name of “Brian Nehrig d/b/a/ McManus & Associates” without McManus’ knowledge.

“In violation of his resignation from the bar, Nehrig worked in a law office and he engaged in activities that crossed the line into the practice of law, some of which were in the very field—real estate transactions—in which the charges leading to his resignation occurred. By using a bank account with the d/b/a of a law firm and directing third parties to make checks out for him using a law firm name, Nehrig held himself out as an attorney,” Chief Justice Brent Dickson wrote in the Sept. 7 disciplinary order.

“Nehrig's violation of the order accepting his resignation was on-going, pervasive, and deliberate, and it exposed the public to the danger of misconduct by Nehrig, who has yet to prove his remorse, rehabilitation, and fitness to practice law through the reinstatement process. See Admis. Disc. R. 23(4)(b). Under these circumstances, the Court concludes that a substantial fine and an extension of his removal from practice is warranted.”

Nehrig has 60 days from September 7 to pay the fine.

McManus was also disciplined as a result his assistance “albeit indirectly” in Nehrig’s unauthorized practice of law. The justices instituted a public reprimand. McManus said he didn’t believe Nehrig was crossing the line into the practice of law in his short sale work and didn’t know of Nehrig’s improper outside activities. He wanted to help Nehrig make a living after his resignation, and McManus has no disciplinary history.

 

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  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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