The Nebraska Supreme Court has reprimanded an attorney who illegally charged his clients a $35,000 brokerage fee to sell their parents' farm land.
The court declared Friday that Joel W. Phillips of Wallace was not allowed to charge the commission because he was not a licensed real estate broker.
The land belonged to a Lincoln County farmer who set up a trust for his wife and their four children. When the parents died, the children agreed to sell two of the five parcels.
The ruling says Phillips, a family friend, offered to find new buyers who would pay more than the land's appraised value. The siblings agreed, but they say they later sold the land without Phillips' help.
Phillips did not contest the allegation. He has since returned the fee.