April 12, 2010
An attorney who had negligently failed to supervise an embezzling paralegal was suspended for a period of one year and a day, all suspended in favor of a two-year term of unsupervised probation, by order of the Louisiana Supreme Court. The attorney had been seriously ill at the time of the paralegal's theft of escrow funds and made restitution to the victims. However, the attorney had failed to restrict the paralegal's access to entrusted funds after learning that a prior employer had accused her of stealing over $100.000.00. The paralegal denied the accusation.
Justice Knoll dissented, finding the sanction unduly harsh under the circumstances.
In an unrelated matter, Justice Knoll also dissented from the grant of conditional admission to an applicant for bar admission, concluding that the evidence established that the applicant was not an alcoholic and did not suffer from substance abuse. (Mike Frisch)
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