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SIST lawyer skips disciplinary hearing; law license at stake

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Gavel & Stryker, made from Cherry & Ash, sold to Whitney Hoffman. By KeithBurtis (Flickr: Gavel & Stryker) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Gavel & Stryker, made from Cherry & Ash, sold to Whitney Hoffman. By KeithBurtis (Flickr: Gavel & Stryker) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

ST. PAUL, MN (WTAQ) - A Minnesota lawyer who peppered a court record with anti-Catholic slurs in a case involving a Shawano religious group has skipped out on her own disciplinary hearing.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Rebekah Nett of Hastings refused to appear before a tribunal Tuesday, saying it’s wrong for the state to punish her after all she’s been through.

The session was called by the state’s lawyer regulation agency to determine if Nett committed misconduct with her attacks – which could ultimately decide whether she keeps her law license. Her attorney in the matter submitted an affidavit in which Nett denied wrongdoing – but the lawyer regulation agency said Nett was required to attend Tuesday’s hearing, and the state’s rules are clear on that.

A retired St. Paul judge will make the final decision. Agency attorney Patrick Burns said Nett’s absence could be a separate charge for discipline – and it could be an aggravating factor if it’s found that she committed misconduct.

The 37-year-old Nett represents the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology. The Shawano group says it’s a religious organization, but former members call it a cult.

In a Minnesota case involving the group, Nett wrote a number of comments that have been questioned – including one which called the judge in that case a “black-robed bigot” and part of a Catholic conspiracy to deny justice to the Shawano institute’s CEO. 

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