Monday, February 14, 2011

After Disbarment Comes Permanent Disbarment

The Louisiana Supreme Court has permanently disbarred an attorney disbarred in 2006 for "defrauding a legally blind woman into signing a contingent fee agreement, forging an endorsement on a settlement check, forging a signature on an affidavit, making a false accusation...that a police sergeant may have had a sexually intimate relationship with a convicted felon, and blatantly violating the confiidentiality rule regarding complaints filed with the Judiciary Commission."

The offense here was a result of the attorney's arrest and no contest plea for continuing to practice after disbarment. The Daily Iberian reports that the post-disbarment practice related to "a grave dispute:"

Many of the unlawful practice charges stem from a years-old dispute between the former lawyer and the owners of Broussard Cemetery, who have filed suit against [the former attorney].

[The former attorney] says much of his family is buried in the Broussard Cemetery, and, because he was good friends with the former owner, he “gratuitously” maintained the cemetery for many years.

The money used for the old cemetery’s upkeep was derived mostly from donations and contributions [the former attorney] solicited each year, he said. When the owners eventually expanded and formed Broussard Cemetery Annex Inc., a dispute arose over which cemetery would solicit from which contributors each year, [he] said.

In the lawsuit filed in 2007, several plaintiffs, including Joseph Dubois, claim [the former attorney] secretly and “fraudulently dissolved” Broussard Cemetery LLC in 1993. [The former attorney] maintains he was “doing them a favor,” citing their liability and unwillingness to purchase insurance. Part of the suit calls for restitution of incorporating fees.

 (Mike Frisch)

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