May 24, 2010
Advice From a Former Bar Prosecutor
The Louisiana Supreme Court imposed an 18-month suspension of an attorney who had stipulated that he had failed to provide diligent representation to three clients and "repeatedly provided them with inaccurate or incomplete information." One one matter, he undertook a Texas case without being admitted there.
In the disciplinary case, the attorney admitted that he is an alcoholic and a drug addict. He denied that he was using alcohol and cocaine in a bar deposition and was randomly tested by the Bar's Lawyers Assistance Program. He tested positive for cocaine use in a random test and admitted he had lied in his bar deposition. He claimed that the positive test "was an isolated incident."
The court was persuaded that the addictions caused the misconduct, but found that the attorney was not recovering from his addictions. He had dropped out of the Bar's program after the positive test.
The court made the suspension effective to the date of an interim suspension imposed after the positive test.
If you want to mitigate your bar sanction based on a cocaine addiction, it is helpful to stop using it. (Mike Frisch)
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