January 22, 2010
The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board has recommended a fully-deferred suspension of three months and one year probation of an attorney convicted of trespassing on public school grounds and resisting arrest. The incident had taken place prior to her admission to practice and involved her child's school, where she was considered to be "disruptive or interfering with [school staff]..." The attorney had violated the condition of her criminal probation after bar admission and served a brief period of incarceration.
Here, the board recommends a deviation from the presumptive sanction of actual suspension:
Mere months before she was admitted to the bar, [respondent] was tried and convicted of school trespassing and of resisting arrest. She was placed on supervised probation.
Mere months after admission to the bar, [respondent] stipulated to the same court that she violated the conditions of probation. [The] violation of her probation violated the Rules of Professional Conduct. The baseline sanction for such misconduct is a suspension from the practice of law.
...much of the Board's justification for deviating downward from actual suspension to deferred suspension owes to the facts that 1) [she] has had her probation revoked, and 2) she has served three days in jail. Also owing to these facts, [she] should never again expect to receive the benefit of such lenient treatment by a court if she commits additional criminal misconduct.
The board is therefore persuaded that these facts stand as a powerful safeguard against [respondent] committing criminal misconduct, or otherwise violating the orders of a court.
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