Nebraska attorney in medical school killings case disbarred
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday disbarred an already-suspended attorney who played a key defense role for a former doctor convicted of killing four people with ties to an Omaha medical school.
Jeremy Jorgenson, 44, violated state law and attorney rules of conduct by continuing to make filings and practice law after his 2017 suspension, the high court found. It said he also failed to inform clients of his suspension or return their money.
Jorgenson had blamed depression and alcohol abuse for his failings, the high court said, but noted he “did not present any evidence beyond his own testimony that he had depression and alcohol abuse issues and that he participated in group meetings.”
A working phone number for Jorgenson could not be found Friday.
His disbarment is the latest in a string of troubles Jorgenson has faced since agreeing in 2016 to help represent Anthony Garcia in the former doctor’s first-degree murder case .
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 was sentenced last year to death.
Jorgenson saw his Nebraska law license suspended indefinitely last February for missing oral arguments before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2016 and for failing to promptly respond to questions about a client complaint. In both instances, Jorgenson partly blamed his transgressions on the onus of handling the Garcia case.
But Jorgenson’s role was arguably minimal, as he merely served as a sponsor for the Chicago law firm representing Garcia. Nebraska law allows out-of-state attorneys to practice in Nebraska, as long as they appear with a Nebraska attorney. Following a series of conflicts and reprimands against the Chicago firm, the Nebraska lawyers who had been sponsoring them bowed out. That’s when Jorgenson and his partner stepped in to sponsor Garcia’s legal team.
Following Jorgenson’s suspension last year, he pleaded no contest to two counts of misdemeanor child abuse and witness tampering involving his wife’s 7-year-old son. Prosecutors say that after the boy threw a toy, Jorgenson picked the boy up by his shirt collar and dropped him. One of the boy’s wrists was broken. Investigators say he then instructed the boy and mother to lie to hospital staff about how the injury had occurred.
Jorgenson is set to be sentenced in that case next week and faces up to a year in jail on each count.