Wednesday, September 7, 2011
A Louisiana Hearing Committee has recommended that charges against an attorney be dismissed based on its finding of insufficient evidence of an ethical violation.
The dissatisfied former client had complained to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel ("ODC") on concerns of overcharging and negligent legal advice. The ODC recommended that the file be closed. The client appealed (a remedy not made available in many bar disciplinary regimes) and the matter was assigned to a hearing committee. The committee affirmed ODC's decision to close the file.
The former client appealed again. The Disciplinary Board remanded the matter for further investigation. After such investigation, ODC again sought to discmiss the matter.
The board again remanded, concluding that there was "manifest error" in the dismissal decision. The ODC then (reluctantly, I suspect) finally filed charges.
Here, the committee finds the charges were not proven. (Mike Frisch)