Thursday, November 15, 2007
An attorney already serving an interim suspension was permanently disbarred by the Louisiana Supreme Court. The charge that led to this result involved a client in a criminal matter. The lawyer "told [the client] that if he paid [the lawyer] $18,000, he would pay off a judge and the district attorney to obtain a more lenient sentence of probation..." The comment was captured on tape. The lawyer advised the client to plead guilty when he was "unable to pay the full $18,000." The client complained after getting a sentence that was double the amount the lawyer had promised.
Permanent, rather than ordinary, disbarment was imposed because, even though there was no actual bribe, "[the client] was clearly misled, and chose to forego trial based on [the attorney's] representations that he could influence the district attorney and the judge presiding over his criminal matter. Such conduct caused severe damage to the profession in eroding the public's trust in the bar and the judiciary." (Mike Frisch)