The complainant and the respondent may be interviewed, and such other and further review or investigation may be conducted as is deemed appropriate. The complainant may submit additional information. During the course of the investigation, the CUPL and/or the Commission may use its power, as provided in the Court Rules, to subpoena witnesses, compel production of documentary evidence, swear witnesses, take testimony, and cause transcripts to be made. Neb. Ct. R. § 3-1014(B) through (D).
a. Methods of Investigation. The CUPL may use such methods and means of conducting the investigation as the Commission shall deem appropriate, including written correspondence, electronic correspondence, telephone calls, teleconferences, personal meetings, consultation with law enforcement and government officials, hiring outside investigators, online research, or other legal organizations. All communications shall strictly comply with the Court Rules regarding confidentiality. Neb. Ct. R. § 3-1020(C) through (G), however, CUPL may disclose basic information that is essential to the conduct of the investigation.
b. Voluntary Resolution. The respondent, at any time during the process of investigation, may voluntarily consent to enter into a written agreement to cease and desist from engaging in and refrain in the future from the conduct which is the subject of the complaint and the investigation. The written consent agreement shall be prepared by the CUPL and may include a stipulation as to penalties in the event of continued conduct which is the subject of the complaint, investigation, and agreement, as well as a provision that would enable the Commission to make the terms of the agreement available to the public. The consent agreement shall be submitted to the Commission for review at its next meeting and shall not be final until approved by the Commission and executed by the chairperson and the respondent. Once approved by the Commission, the complainant will be notified in writing that an agreement has been reached. Neb. Ct. R. § 3-1014(F). CUPL will monitor the respondent according to the terms of the agreement until such time that the Commission either deems that the matter should be closed or that the matter needs to be considered for additional enforcement.
c. After being approved by the Commission and signed by the parties, consent agreements may be presented by the Commission to the Supreme Court for approval and adoption as a Consent Decree of the Supreme Court.
d. Commission Review After Investigation. After investigation, a written report and recommendation will be submitted by the CUPL to the Commission. The Commission may take the following actions:
i. Request that the CUPL do further investigation, Neb. Ct. R. § 3-1014(G);
ii. Conclude that there has been no unauthorized practice of law and that the complaint should be dismissed, in which case the CUPL shall notify the complainant and the respondent in writing and shall close the file, Neb. Ct. R. § 3-1014(E); or
iii. Request that the respondent enter into a consent agreement which may be presented by the Commission to the Supreme Court for approval and adoption as a Consent Decree of the Supreme Court. Neb. Ct. R. § 3-1012(C); or
iv. Conclude that the conduct does constitute unauthorized practice of law and proceed with remedies as provided under the Court Rules.
e. Pending Controversy. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Commission may defer an investigation in any matter that, to its knowledge, is the subject of or might affect a case or controversy pending in any court or administrative proceeding, including attorney discipline.
X.a. amendment approved December 3, 2013, effective April 1, 2014.