Monday, May 25, 2009

Unduly Harsh

A Louisiana attorney who had acted as counsel in a child custody matter while on inactive status failed to participate in the ensuing bar investigation and prosecution. The Disciplinary Board recommended disbarment for the violations. While noting that the harm of the unauthorized practice was aggravated by the importance of custody matters, the Louisiana Supreme Court characterized disbarment as "unduly harsh" and suspended the lawyer for a year and one day. (Mike Frisch)

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Yet another case determined without the participation of a party in interest.

Why did the Louisiana court minimise the lawyer's failure to participate in the disciplinary process? In other jurisdictions, we have seen disbarment for that reason alone.

And what's with footnote 2? If she never participated and never answered the charges, then how did she "submi[t] false evidence, false statements, [and engage in] other deceptive practices during the disciplinary process"? To my mind, such a finding by the hearing committee would have called into question the entire process before the hearing committee and not just its conclusions.


Posted by: FixedWing | May 25, 2009 7:59:21 AM

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