OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday indefinitely suspended the law license of an Omaha attorney who played a key defense role for a former doctor convicted of killing four people with ties to an Omaha medical school.
The state’s high court suspended the license of Jeremy Jorgenson, who helped represent Anthony Garcia in his first-degree murder case.
The high court cited Jorgenson for missing oral arguments on Oct. 25, 2016, before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in which Jorgenson was representing a man convicted of robbery. It also cited a second 2016 case in which Jorgenson failed to promptly respond to questions about a client complaint.
In both instances, according to the high court, Jorgenson blamed his failings, in part, on the onus of handling the Garcia case, which he took on in April 2016.
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But Jorgenson’s role was an arguably minimal one. He and his law partner at the time agreed to sponsor lawyers with the Chicago law firm Motta & Motta, which defended Garcia from his 2013 arrest through his 2016 conviction.
Nebraska law allows out-of-state attorneys in good standing to practice in Nebraska, as long as they are associated and appear with a Nebraska attorney. Following a series of conflicts and reprimands against the Mottas, the Nebraska lawyers who had sponsored them bowed out of the case. That’s when Jorgenson and his partner stepped in to sponsor the Motta firm.
Garcia was convicted months later of killing the 11-year-old son and a housekeeper of Creighton University faculty member William Hunter in 2008, and killing pathology doctor Roger Brumback and his wife in 2013. Prosecutors said Garcia blamed Hunter and Brumback for his 2001 firing from Creighton’s pathology residency program. Garcia is awaiting sentencing, where he faces death or life in prison.
Under the conditions of Jorgenson’s suspension, he may apply for reinstatement of his law license after two years, provided he “fully answer for the current charges,” and demonstrate his fitness to practice.
The Omaha law firm where Jorgenson had practiced said Friday that he was no longer associated with the firm. Calls to a cellphone number the firm provided for Jorgenson rang unanswered.