Lawyer Resurfaces In Jail After Clients Claim He Took Their Money And Skipped Town

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Nick Janes Nick Janes
Nick Janes joined KOVR/KMAX in December 2008 as a reporter. Nick...
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LINCOLN (CBS13) – An attorney accused of taking clients’ money without doing any of the work and disappearing has resurfaced in jail.

Attorney Bryan Smith may have to hire counsel of his own after being arrested not once, but twice within days.

If the name sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because CBS13 tried tracking the lawyer down back in December after some of his clients claimed he took their money and dropped off the map.

Smith spent back-to-back days behind bars this week after two bizarre incidents at a Lincoln PetSmart.

Cops arrested the Smith Monday for disorderly conduct after Smith allegedly cursed up a storm inside the store while trying to pick up his cat from PetSmart’s grooming department.

“Got some issues, shouldn’t be drinking like that in the first place,” said one man.

Police say he was back the very next night trying to pick up his cat. This time, he was arrested for DUI after witnesses say they saw him driving erratically in the parking lot.

Someone was home when CBS13 stopped by Smith’s residence, but wouldn’t open the door.

Neighbors say they rarely see the lawyer, which sounds familiar to at least one of Smith’s clients.

“I hired him to represent me and he ran off with my money — disappeared,” Tom Schmidt told us back in December.

He says he’s still in the same boat. Schmidt claims Smith took his $5,000 but still hasn’t handled his child custody case.

Smith also abruptly stopped showing up to his Sacramento law office last October.

“Property manager said he disappeared, owing them money as well,” said Schmidt.

All these months later, the embattled lawyer has resurfaced. Now he’s facing some legal trouble of his own.

On top of the DUI and disorderly conduct charges, one of Smith’s now-former clients has a new lawyer and plans to take Smith to court to get back his money back.

In 2007 the state bar put Smith on probation after discovering he took money from a client but didn’t do the promised legal work. At the time, they warned him that if he did it again, he could face harsher penalties.

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