A Bellevue lawyer defending Brian Schuster against allegations of securities fraud asked a judge Thursday to pay him $200 an hour and submitted a bill that would claim most of what Otoe County has budgeted for attorneys this year.



County Judge Todd Hutton appointed Bellevue attorney Donald L. Schense to represent Schuster after the former Nebraska City stockbroker filled out an affidavit claiming to be unable to afford an attorney.


A Bellevue lawyer defending Brian Schuster against allegations of securities fraud asked a judge Thursday to pay him $200 an hour and submitted a bill that would claim most of what Otoe County has budgeted for attorneys this year.

County Judge Todd Hutton appointed Bellevue attorney Donald L. Schense to represent Schuster after the former Nebraska City stockbroker filled out an affidavit claiming to be unable to afford an attorney.

Schense, who appeared at the court hearing before Otoe County Public Defender Michael Ziskey asked to be removed from the case, said Thursday that Judge Hutton asked him to defend Schuster.

He said he has already worked 80 hours on the case, including “skimming” through boxes of financial records at a storage building.

If his request for $200 an hour is approved, Schense’s first bill will be $16,000. After 16 months, the case has just now reached the pre-trial motion stage and it has been continued indefinitely.

“There are tens of thousands of documents to review. We have literally just scratched the surface,” Schense said.

Schuster waived his right to a speedy trial Thursday.
District Judge Paul Korslund said Thursday he does not expect to set the case for trial until defense attorneys are ready to “assert” their right to trial.

Recent expenses for court-appointed attorneys in Otoe County have been  $27,341 in 2006, $32,328 in 2007 and $29,649 in 2008.

Special Prosecutor Michael Guinan of the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office said he would like to check with Otoe County officials about regular lawyer fees before a fee of $200 an hour is granted.

Schense said he had over 150 jury trials in 28 years. He has worked for the U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard, Lancaster County attorneys office and Douglas County attorney’s office. He worked three years as a special assistant for the U.S. attorneys office prosecuting firearm and drug cases. He is currently in private practice.