Judge gives jail sentence to Omaha attorney for his ‘period of madness’

An Omaha attorney will spend 100 days in jail, maybe more, after a “period of madness” that included three DUIs, a handful of domestic disputes and several violations of a protection order his former mistress took out against him.

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Omaha attorney Ben Maxell and a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy walk out of the Douglas County Courthouse in 2021 after Maxell was told that he was under arrest.


Douglas County Judge Daryl Lowe sentenced Ben Maxell last week to the jail term and extended a probation term to November 2023. Maxell, 46, still faces sentencing for a third DUI, which took place near Red Oak, Iowa, and which could add to his time behind bars.

Lowe allowed Maxell to stay out of jail while he gets his affairs in order. He is then to report by Sept. 26. Judges typically don’t allow defendants that much time.

“I threw the book at you,” Lowe said. “But it wasn’t a big book.”

Maxell could have faced more than a year in jail had the judge run the sentences one after the other. Lowe’s official sentence was 180 days. Because sentences are reduced for good behavior, Maxell will serve about 100 days at the Douglas County Jail.

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Maxell told the judge that his life began to unravel with the death of his grandfather, essentially his surrogate father. Every three months, he said, something else would happen and he would sabotage himself and jeopardize his career. Maxell’s law license was suspended in June 2021.

A referee with the Nebraska Supreme Court will hear ethics charges against Maxell and recommend anything from reprimand to suspension to disbarment. The high court will then decide.

In addition to citing the misdemeanor convictions against Maxell, Kent Frobish, assistant counsel for discipline

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