September 24, 2011
More Than A Say So
The Louisiana Supreme Court has imposed a suspension of a year and a day of an attorney as a result of two driving under the influence arrests. In the Louisiana case, the charges (and related drug possession charges) were eventually dismissed. In an Illinois case, he failed to appear and there is a bench warrant.
Notably, the hearing committee had found that the attorney had been alcohol and drug free for three years. The court agreed with the board that the attorney's claim of sobriety was insufficient:
Although the hearing committee found respondent has not used alcohol or
illegal drugs since he entered the 90-day treatment program at Home of Grace, we
agree with the board that respondent has provided no evidence, other than his own
testimony, that this is, in fact, true. He is not active in Alcoholics Anonymous or a
similar support group and does not participate in the Lawyers Assistance Program.
Furthermore, he is not currently being tested for alcohol and drug use.
The sanction will require him to prove fitness at a hearing.
In Louisiana it appears that, in order to mitigate sanction for addiction-related misconduct, you have to be in the compliance with bar's treatment program. (Mike Frisch)
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