“The Grouch” Nealy?
JoCo attorney resigns
- Even though he has stiff competition, Oscar Nealy could go down in
Josephine County history books as one of the worst attorneys to ever
practice law. So pervasive were his wrongdoings he sent a letter of
resignation to the Oregon State Bar (OSB) on May 3, 2007, stating, "I
do not desire to contest or defend the ... complaints, allegations or
instances of alleged misconduct." And, on June 20, 2007, his resignation
filed with the bar included: failure to carry out a contract of employment;
failure to deposit or maintain client funds in trust; failure to account
for client funds or property; failure to keep a client reasonably informed
of the status of a case; failure to communicate with client sufficient[ly]
to allow client to make informed decisions regarding the representation;
knowingly make a false statement of law or fact to a tribunal; conduct
involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; conduct prejudicial
to the administration of justice.
criminal defenses to post conviction relief cases, guardianship filings
to civil suits, Oscar Nealy misrepresented his clients and foiled their
cases while asking for more money at every turn. Some clients would
hire him and never hear from him. He would even avoid their multiple
attempts to contact him.
one point Nealy was suspended from the practice of law by the OSB for
a period of 4 months, but that didn't stop him. He continued to practice,
and appeared in court on several occasions during his suspension.
to the OSB web site, his suspension resulted from the mis-handling of
three client matters. OSB wrote: "In the first matter, Nealy failed
to take substantive action on his client’s personal injury claim
for a significant period and failed to notify his client prior to the
expiration of the statute of limitations that he would not be pursuing
the second matter, Nealy was unable to appropriately account for funds
received on behalf of a criminal defense client or timely return the
client’s remaining funds.
the third matter, Nealy was appointed with his nephew as the co-personal
representative of his deceased brother’s estate, and acted as
the attorney for the personal representatives. Following initial filings,
Nealy did not take any substantive action on the probate for more than
a year. When he thereafter filed the final accounting and decree of
final distribution, he failed to take the remaining steps of making
the distributions, obtaining receipts and obtaining an order closing
the probate for more than another year. In the interim, the court dismissed
the probate for lack of prosecution.
the probate was pending, Nealy took periodic payments for his fees from
estate funds without petitioning the court for approval as required
stipulation noted that Nealy has twice been publicly reprimanded for
unrelated violations and has also received letters of admonition over
the course of his practice for neglect violations similar to those acknowledged
in these matters. Nealy has substantial experience in the practice of
law, having been admitted in 1968."
the case of Hank and Linda Ebert, clients of Nealy, whose bid to secure
the guardianship of Hank's half brother Fred, Nealy's lack of performance
has cost them greatly.
on his attempt to acquire guardianship of his brother Hank Ebert said,
"All we want is to be a part of my brother’s care and medical
decisions. Fred can't make those decisions on his own.”
suffers from Down Syndrome and was placed in foster care prior to his
mother's death. According to Ebert, "It was just too difficult
for mom to care for Fred." Ebert also maintains that the foster
care provider denied Fred access to visits with his mother, and that
all of this was part of his case to attain guardianship.
is currently in foster care and it has been determined that he can make
all decisions regarding his well-being, even though he has difficulty
understanding that his mother is no longer alive.
the Ebert’s case, Nealy had attended a hearing during his suspension
and the case could be overturned. This, however, would require the Eberts
to retain another attorney and come up with even more money, something
they are very leery of doing due to their "Nealy" experience.
can be pursued civilly for malpractice.
latest career choice - logger.
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