Monday, September 15, 2008

Reinstatement Recommended Despite Claim Of Innocence

The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board has recommended the reinstatement of an attorney who had been suspended for three years as a result of his federal conviction for seven counts of lying to a federal agent. The attorney had been elected as Commissioner of Insurance and was charged with conspiring with former Governor Edwin Edwards, Judge Foxy Sanders and others "to allow [an] insurance company president to enter into a settlement that was nothing more than a sham, thereby derailing a lawsuit to recover millions of dollars which the insurance company president should have reimbursed to the State."

One usual aspect of the reinstatement process relates to the petitioner's belief that he was wrongly convicted. He authored a book called "Justice Denied: How the Federal Court System Failed Former Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Brown." After publishing the book, he frequently hosted a radio show for Clear Channel Communications. While protestations of innocence would normally be a significant impediment to reinstatement, the petitioner had acknowledged that it was wrong to lie to the FBI and that his conviction had harmed the legal profession. The board concluded that he was remorseful and presently has the requisite honesty and integrity to resume the practice of law. (Mike Frisch)

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