Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board has recommended a three-year suspension retroactive to the attorney's 1997 interim suspension for a laundry list of ethical violations. The board found that the attorney's recovery from chemical addiction was "truly inspiring" and noted that he had served the equivalent of two consecutive disbarments while suspended. The board notes:
This is a unique case. [The attorney] consented to an interim suspension some 13 years ago, and formal charges were first brought against him over a decade ago. His conversion of client funds and other misconduct during 1995-1998 was egregious, but after serving incarceration with hard labor for converting funds, [he] has returned as a highly productive member of society. He has served as a social services provider for the City of Baton Rouge, and he volunteers his time with sobriety programs. These facts support his other convining evidence which he adduced to show that he has recovered from his own chemical dependancy, which caused the misconduct...
Several board members expressed separate views on sanction. The majority recommendation requires that the attorney petition for reinstatement. A hearing committee had proposed a one-year retroactive suspension, which would have made reinstatement automatic. (Mike Frisch)