October 19, 2009
To Suspend Or Not To Suspend
An attorney admitted to practice in 2002 filed suit in state court on behalf of a client who alleged that his employer had released his confidential medical records. The defendant had the suit removed to a federal court where the attorney was not admitted. The attorney thereafter dropped the ball and the case was dismissed. The attorney failed to notify the client and initially ignored an order in the ensuing bar discipline case.He thereafter had fully cooperated in the bar matter.
The Louisiana Supreme Court adopted the sanction proposed by its Attorney Disciplinary Board and imposed a fully-stayed one year suspension. The attorney will be subject to probation for one year. The court found aggravating factors but noted that the attorney (who accepted the matter while working primarily as a public defender) was inexperienced.
Three dissenting and concurring justices would impose a period of actual suspension. The most extensive of the three is linked here. (Mike Frisch)
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