Nebraska Revised Statute 7-105

Chapter 7


Duties of attorneys and counselors.

It is the duty of an attorney and counselor: (1) To maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and to judicial officers; (2) to counsel or maintain no other actions, proceedings or defenses than those which appear to him legal and just, except the defense of a person charged with a public offense; (3) to employ, for the purpose of maintaining the cause confided to him, such means only as are consistent with the truth; (4) to maintain inviolate the confidence, and, at any peril to himself, to preserve the secrets of his clients; (5) to abstain from all offensive practices and to advise no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which he is charged; (6) not to encourage the commencement or continuance of an action or proceeding from any motive of passion or interest.


  • R.S.1866, c. 3, § 5, p. 14;
  • R.S.1913, § 269;
  • C.S.1922, § 264;
  • C.S.1929, § 7-105;
  • R.S.1943, § 7-105.


  • 1. Contract of employment

  • 2. Dealing with property

  • 3. Misconduct

  • 4. Negligence

  • 5. Privileged communication

  • 6. Miscellaneous

  • 1. Contract of employment

  • The duty of an attorney is personal in its nature, and therefore a contract for legal services cannot be assigned by the attorney without the consent of the client. Corson v. Lewis, 77 Neb. 446, 109 N.W. 735 (1906); Hilton v. Crooker, 30 Neb. 707, 47 N.W. 3 (1890).

  • Where one member of a firm of attorneys is retained, the retainer is of the entire firm, and it is the duty of the member retained to inform his partners of all engagements he has undertaken on behalf of the firm, and impart to them all of the facts within his knowledge bearing on the case. Ganzer v. Schiffbauer, 40 Neb. 633, 59 N.W. 98 (1894).

  • Employment terminates with judgment and exhaustion of legal process thereon, and does not extend to subsequent proceedings to reach property of debtor or enforce liability against sureties. Lamb v. Wilson, 3 Neb. Unof. 505, 97 N.W. 325 (1903).

  • 2. Dealing with property

  • Where attorneys purchase property from their client, there is a presumption against the validity of the transaction which can only be overcome by clear evidence of good faith, of full knowledge and of independent consent and action. Hamilton v. Allen, 86 Neb. 401, 125 N.W. 610 (1910).

  • Purchase of subject matter of suit is voidable by client, unless attorney shows by clear and conclusive proof that no advantage was taken, that matter was explained to client, and price was fair and reasonable. Levara v. McNeny, 73 Neb. 414, 102 N.W. 1042 (1905).

  • An attorney may not purchase at judicial sale property in which his client is interested, and if he does so, the client at his election may treat the attorney as trustee. Olson v. Lamb, 56 Neb. 104, 76 N.W. 433 (1898).

  • 3. Misconduct

  • A law firm should be disqualified from representing its client when it hires as temporary clerical help a disbarred attorney who previously worked as an attorney on the same case for another firm which represents the opposing party, because such action has the appearance of impropriety. State ex rel. Creighton Univ. v. Hickman, 245 Neb. 247, 512 N.W.2d 374 (1994).

  • Violation of the provisions of this section constituted grounds for disbarment of attorney. State ex rel. Nebraska State Bar Assn. v. Rhodes, 177 Neb. 650, 131 N.W.2d 118 (1964).

  • Enlarging size of bullet hole in belt received in evidence was misconduct. State ex rel. Nebraska State Bar Assn. v. Fisher, 170 Neb. 483, 103 N.W.2d 325 (1960).

  • Giving of false testimony by an attorney is an act of moral turpitude and justifies suspension or disbarment. State ex rel. Nebraska State Bar Assn. v. Butterfield, 169 Neb. 119, 98 N.W.2d 714 (1959).

  • Misappropriation by an attorney of money belonging to his client is such a disregard of duty as to warrant disbarment. State ex rel. Hunter v. Hatteroth, 134 Neb. 451, 279 N.W. 153 (1938).

  • An attorney's failure to account to his client for money received in a professional capacity constitutes a violation of his duty to client and to public, and warrants disbarment. State ex rel. Hunter v. Boe, 134 Neb. 162, 278 N.W. 144 (1938).

  • Attorneys upon admission assume duties as officers of the court, and in performance thereof they must conform to certain ethical standards generally recognized by the profession. State ex rel. Hunter v. Crocker, 132 Neb. 214, 271 N.W. 444 (1937).

  • "Ambulance chasing" by attorney is violation of duty to abstain from all offensive practices. State ex rel. Sorensen v. Goldman, 127 Neb. 340, 255 N.W. 32 (1934).

  • Attorneys, in performance of duties assumed, must conform to certain standards in relation to clients, to courts, to profession, and to public. State ex rel. Sorensen v. Ireland, 125 Neb. 570, 251 N.W. 119 (1933).

  • Improper and offensive statements by attorneys are violation of requirement to maintain due respect to courts of justice. Flannigan v. State, 125 Neb. 519, 250 N.W. 908 (1933).

  • Delinquency in accounting for money received in professional capacity is ground for disbarment as violating duty to maintain respect due courts. State ex rel. Spillman v. Priest, 118 Neb. 47, 223 N.W. 635 (1929).

  • Drawing pleadings and preparing case for trial is violation of duty of an attorney who has been suspended from practice. State v. Fisher, 103 Neb. 736, 174 N.W. 320 (1919).

  • Court will disbar for professional misconduct in relations of attorney with court, but will not investigate charge of crime while matter pending on indictment. In re Disbarment Proceedings of Newby, 76 Neb. 482, 107 N.W. 850 (1906).

  • Contract to share fees with layman who procures third parties to employ attorney and who secures evidence is violation of duties of attorney and is void. Langdon v. Conlin, 67 Neb. 243, 93 N.W. 389 (1903).

  • Attorney cannot represent both sides without consent of the clients. Cox v. Barnes, 45 Neb. 172, 63 N.W. 394 (1895).

  • Propriety of methods of defense rests largely with attorney, but aiding escape of defendant is not "defense". State ex rel. Attorney General v. Burr, 19 Neb. 593, 28 N.W. 261 (1886).

  • 4. Negligence

  • Expression of an opinion by an attorney as to the probabilities of realizing a certain sum upon the sale of real property does not render the attorney liable because of mistake in such estimate. Reumping v. Wharton, 56 Neb. 536, 76 N.W. 1076 (1898).

  • 5. Privileged communication

  • A communication concerning the date, time, and place of a scheduled trial is not confidential in nature and is not protected from disclosure by subsection (4) of this section. State v. Hawes, 251 Neb. 305, 556 N.W.2d 634 (1996).

  • Obligation of secrecy is not violated where attorney is called upon to testify to facts showing a purpose of perpetrating a conscious intentional fraud upon the court. In re Watson, 83 Neb. 211, 119 N.W. 451 (1909).

  • 6. Miscellaneous

  • Violation of this section authorized disbarment. State ex rel. Nebraska State Bar Assn. v. Palmer, 160 Neb. 786, 71 N.W.2d 491 (1955).

  • Obligation rests upon attorneys to maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and to judicial officers, and to abstain from all offensive practices. In re Dunn, 85 Neb. 606, 124 N.W. 120 (1909).

  • Damages for unauthorized appearance in action not concerning collections are not recoverable in suit against attorney for failure to account for collections. Scott v. Kirschbaum, 47 Neb. 331, 66 N.W. 443 (1896).

  • An attorney has the right to refuse a retainer which would require his appearance before a particular judge. Hawes v. State, 46 Neb. 149, 64 N.W. 699 (1895).