February 23, 2011
A majority (the two attorneys) of a Louisiana Hearing Committee has recommended a fully-deferred three month suspension of an attorney who sued a number of law firms who had represented his client in connection with litigation in federal court that grew out of a 1995 explosion of a chemical plant in Bogalusa, Louisiana. The majority rejected a number of charges relaing to disobeying court orders and vexatious litigation.
After judgment was entered in the underlying litigation and his client was awarded attorneys' fees and costs, the attorney e-mailed opposing counsel that he would not provide his firm's statement, "At least, not until the next trial." Counsel responded: "in light of the rulings and verdict, haven't we had our last trial?" Rejoinder:
You Wish!!! No, I plan to make your firm a lot a money, not to mention mine. As long as they pay you sooner than my client. See you at the 5th--I hope you have that appeal bond ready.
The majority rejected charges based on the e-mail, as well as a number of other alleged rule violations.
The federal court had imposed sanctions of over $27,000 in attorneys' fees and costs against the respondent.
The lay member dissented (Bravo for not rubber-stamping the conclusions of the lawyers) and would find a number of additional violations.
The use of the word "vexation" to me means a lot, looking up the definition of this word is: the act of harassing. The use of the word "vex" one finds in its defintion: to agitate, to bring trouble, distress. So I do hope that the Disciplinary Board will find that respondent did violate the rules stated by Disciplinary Counsel.
The lay member would impose a period of actual suspension of a year and a day. (Mike Frisch)
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