Monday, April 6, 2009
A Louisiana hearing board has recommended a stayed six month suspension of an attorney who had failed to supervise a non-lawyer employee, resulting in misappropriation of nearly $15,000 of entrusted funds. The attorney had been seriously ill and hospitalized for part of the time in question. Part of the problem was that the lawyer's account records were kept off-site with his accountant. The employee was able to send out and intercept checks that made it appear that the money came from the lawyer's operating account.
The board found that the lawyer had failed to supervise the employee. The lawyer had replaced the funds that were taken. If there are future problems with the trust account other than math error, the recommendation provides that the attorney will then be suspended for a year and a day. (Mike Frisch)