Monday, March 15, 2010
The Louisiana Supreme Court permanently disbarred an attorney who had accepted a bribe in his capacity as director of the Louisiana Film Commission. The sanction was imposed in the wake of a federal felony conviction. The court concluded that its sanction guidelines "present useful information concerning the types of conduct the court might consider worthy of permanent disbarment" and found that the attorney's felony conviction for malfeasance in office was worthy:
Respondent's actions fall within the parameters of the guidelines. Respondent misused his office as director of the Louisiana Film Commission to fraudulently inflate state tax credits in exchange for bribes. His actions resulted in federal felony charges, to which Respondent has pled guilty.
This court has consistently held that an attorney occupying a position of public trust is held to a higher standard of conduct than an ordinary attorney.
While the court does not "lightly impose the sanction of permanent disbarment...we are firmly convinced that we would be remiss in our constitutional duty to regulate the practice of law if we did not impose that sanction under the egregious facts of this case." (Mike Frisch)